Weather Forecast


PGI fireworks to brighten up the skies

A rainbow of fireworks will be exploding over West Fargo August 4 through August 10 as the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) presents their phenomenal "West Fargo Firestorm 2007" at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, located on the west edge of West Fargo. This will mark the sixth time the group has visited the area, the last time was in August of 2004 and if all goes according to plans, PGI intends to be back for another showing in 2011.

Evening public shows will take place each night at dusk, Sunday through Wednesday, Aug. 5 through Aug. 8, with the grand evening show at dusk on Friday, Aug. 10. There will be no show on Thursday, Aug. 9, that evening will be used as the rain date to make up a show if necessary.

Founded in 1969, PGI is a nonprofit organization of fireworks enthusiasts, including amateurs and professionals, with current membership at approximately 3,500.

The guild members, representing 50 states and a number of foreign countries, will also be involved during the day in convention meetings, classes, and demonstrations each day and evening.

PGI Vice President John Steinberg, who is assisting with details of the West Fargo show, said the group is thrilled to be back in West Fargo again. He encourages those wishing to view the show to come out to the Fairgrounds and enjoy it from the grandstand seating, instead of watching from their backyards or outside the show area. "Those attending will be incredibly pleased with what they see," he said. "If you think you can see it from outside, you're wrong twice," he said. "You'll be missing three-fourths of the show. Some of the shows take place on the infield so you won't be able to see anything." The second thing viewers will be missing is the wonderful music and choreography that is a huge part of the firework display."

Steinberg also encourages viewers to take in as many nights as possible, because each night will feature its own fantastic production that is the result of PGI members working for years to perform in public. The biggest display events are on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, but historically those who miss Monday and Tuesday regret doing so.

He emphasized that the Friday night performance will be outstanding, but that the other evening shows will also be dynamically wonderful.

Steinberg said his group enjoys holding their convention and shows in West Fargo. "We like the community and the infrastructure and we appreciate what everyone does. We can talk to anybody we need to talk to and get things done. It's kind of like being a guest in a family where everyone is supportive."

On that note, Steinberg said that Red River Valley Fair board member Kyle Anderson has been one of the best friends the PGI has ever had. "He is an easy guy to work with and a man of his word. He's forthright and really cares about making this thing work for the Fair and PGI."

PGI has also worked closely with local law enforcement to make sure the event runs smoothly. When it comes to traffic, Cass County Chief Deputy Jim Thoreson said he'll have crews out there every night helping out. "Again patience will be the key, and we would encourage people to get out early."

His department will be handling the traffic situation pretty much the same as prior years. County Road 28, running by the main entrance of the Fairgrounds, will be closed at 9:30 p.m. each night, just east of the grandstands for safety reasons, until the show is over. Consequently, the blocked off area during this time will run from just east of the grandstand to 10th Street West.

As for exiting the parking lot at the conclusion of Friday night's show, everybody parking on the west side of County 28 will be making a right hand turn onto County 28, taking them south to 13th Avenue. Those parking on the east side of County 28 will make a right hand turn that will go northbound to Main Avenue.

Members of the North Dakota Highway Patrol will have sign boards located on Interstate 94, indicating there will be no parking allowed on either westbound or eastbound lanes. The West Fargo Police Department will assist with traffic at 8th Street West as well as 13th Avenue and Sheyenne Street.

There will be no parking allowed on the frontage roads on Main Avenue, but there will be parking at the West Fargo Park District's Soccer Complex. Parking for the event will be free every night at the Fairgrounds, with the exception of Friday evening, then there will be a $5 charge per car.

Tickets for the event are available at all area Stop-n-Go locations and at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds by stopping out or calling 701-282-2200 or 1-800-456-6408.

Reserved tickets for seating in the grandstand are $40 per person which will cover admission to every night of the shows; general admission tickets are available for $5 for each night Aug. 5, 6, 7 or 8; and general admission tickets for the grand finale show only on Friday, Aug. 10 is $15.

Anyone interested in more information or becoming a member of PGI can visit their Web site at