BoomFest in Central Point set to let off 550 large fireworks at tonight’s event

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The City of Central Point, the Jackson County Expo, and professional pyrotechnicians are setting up for the annual BoomFest right now.

The event will have around 550 shells going off tonight for the 4th of July.

These large shells will set off fireworks that will launch 8 to 900 feet in the air and expand by about 1,000 feet across.

“We have about 7 hours on the set-up, and we’ll probably have the same amount of time on tear down,” said Lee Finlayson, the lead pyrotechnician for Western Display Fireworks. He says he’s set-up for the event for the past 34 years.

“This show is so big, we can’t hand light it anymore, so we electrically fire it. It’s not through a computer, it’s run manually and we have full control of it.”

Finlayson says some fireworks aren’t being used this year as a safety precaution, “We’ve eliminated a lot of the fan boxes and smaller stuff that is low level.”

Organizers say unlike years past, people will need to drive to Gate 1 to park for the display.

The Expo’s Helen Funk says you can enjoy the fireworks from anywhere in the valley, though.

“This show is actually going up in the air, you don’t have to come to the Expo to see fireworks tonight,” she said.

Funk says people can arrive as early as 8 p.m. to park before the show begins at 10 p.m.

She wants to remind people bringing their own fireworks to light in the parking lot is prohibited this year.

“If you light off a firework in this parking lot, you could either get doused by water or you can meet our nice security guards and sheriff’s deputies.”

Parking crews will be directing traffic off of Penninger Road into the Gate 1 parking area.

For more information on the fireworks display, visit jacksoncounty.org.

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Mariah Mills
NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.