A Bend family-owned business will run the Fourth of July fireworks show atop Pilot Butte this Sunday. It’s the the second year doing the show, and it’s going to be bigger than last year, according to Sure Shot Blasting and Fireworks owner Gary Mattison. On Friday morning, Mattison was unloading equipment on Pilot Butte’s summit while members of his team arrived in trucks hauling trailers filled with mortars, pallets and bags of sand.
“We’ve got like 12 guys on our team hauling things up and down right now,” he said.
The team includes two of Mattison’s sons, who are also certified pyrotechnicians.
“It’s all family here,” he said. “We’re local, too. We’ve been here almost 35 years.”
Mattison got into fireworks some 25 years ago when he took on some fireworks shows at Mt. Ashland Ski Area.
Two decades later, it’s fireworks full time for Mattison.
“It’s a passion,” he said.
Sure Shot also planned to handle the fireworks for the Bend Elks game Saturday night. After setting up part of Pilot Butte Friday morning, his team drove to Vince Genna Stadium for extra set up in the afternoon.
“We’re setting up all day,” he said. “It’s non-stop.”
Also included in the preparations: fire safety.
The Pilot Butte Fourth of July show will include five hand crews, two Bend Fire & Rescue fire engines, two U.S. Forest Service fire engines and Mattison’s team, who are all certified firefighters, according to Mattison.
“We’re prepared for it,” he said. “Thank god for our firefighters; otherwise this couldn’t happen.”
This year’s show will be a little different from last year’s. It’ll be bigger, for one, but Mattison didn’t give anything else away.
“Let’s just say there’s a few things we’re really excited about,” he said.