A Look from Above:  Agua Caliente’s Annual Fireworks Extravaganza

A Look from Above: Agua Caliente’s Annual Fireworks Extravaganza

Lauren Day Connect

There are dozens of ways to celebrate the United States of America’s 242nd birthday.

In the Coachella Valley, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians provides local residents and visitors a cost-free way to celebrate the special occasion every year.

This year, like many others, KMIR got an exclusive behind the scenes look at how this seemingly flawless pyrotechnic extravaganza all comes together.

“It takes approximately, we were counting last night, about 16 hours and two days solid to put this show on,” says Matthew Denison, head pyrotechnician. 

And if they miss a step, they have to do it over… Ehhh look it! I have to do the whole thing again.”

His partner Craig Proctor agrees it’s a lengthy task. “It’s a lot of work. You see all of these racks, they have to be built, put together and then we have to load them.” 

This attention to detail and craftsmanship allows the viewers to enjoy the show while Matt and Craig are busy making the magic happen.

“I love it. It’s good. I’m listening to the music on one side, the cues on the other side, so I can go ahead and when they call my cue I knock them off one by one,” says Matt.

One of the biggest fireworks that will go off will shoot 1,000 feet in the air, and explode over three football fields wide.

“There are so many things that could potentially go wrong,” Craig continues, “if you’re not trained if you don’t know what to do. You could injure yourself, you could do property damage.” 

Meaning, leave it to the pros and celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang.

“The best part of it is at the end of the night when everyone honks their horns, everyone is cheering and celebrating, that is the best feeling I ever got in my heart.”

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage will host the annual Fireworks Spectacular at 9 p.m.