The History of Big Bang Boom

The year was 1976 – Nebraska’s own Gerald Ford was president as our country celebrated 200 years, the first fireworks at Skyview Lake happened under the direction of Orville Carlisle and Doug Zastrow.  These two pyrotechnicians road-tripped to South Dakota and brought back fireworks to commemorate the country’s bicentennial on a $1500 budget.  In those days fireworks were not the technological phenomenon that you view today…each effect was shot separately with a hand-held flare…similar to what you’re about to view.

Flash forward to the mid-80’s.  The Norfolk Jaycees are now the sponsor of the annual fireworks show at Skyview Lake.  From 1984 to 1989 this community group commissioned a regional fireworks organization to produce the pyrotechnics show taking it to a new zone.

And now we jump ahead to the 90’s –  The Norfolk Jaycees partnered with a corporate sponsor and brought in a national company to create the local fireworks show.  The Grucci Family from New York was commissioned to do the first electrically fired show choreographed to the musical score that was aired on a local radio station.

With a new century on the horizon, Big Bang Boom Incorporated was formed in 1999 to coordinate the efforts of Norfolk’s fireworks display.  This non-profit organization was made up of community members interested in preserving the fireworks tradition at Skyview Lake. 

In the year 2003- following a nationwide search, Big Bang Boom partnered with J&M Display out of Yarmouth, Iowa to bring a digitally fired synchronized fireworks program to Northeast Nebraska that could be heard on all of Norfolk’s FM radio stations.  J&M Displays also provided the technology that allowed for the addition of Big Bang Boom’s now signature “fireballs” to increase the intensity of the annual show.

And now we jump forward to today the 43rd consecutive year of sights and sounds at Skyview Lake.  Now known as Boomfest…this day-long festival is touted as the largest single-day event in Northeast Nebraska with a state of the art pyrodigital system providing you a world class fireworks show. 

Boomfest is a fun-filled day of family-oriented activities prior to the fireworks.  Vendors offer a vast variety of food and drink and the U-Hop inflatable midway for the youngsters opens at 1:00 in the afternoon.  (All day wristbands are available to purchase.

Big Bang Boom has added a speaker system throughout the park to broadcast the synchronized music, but we also encourage you to bring your Big Bang Boom Box (portable radio) to listen to your favorite station carrying the fireworks music.  The New 94 Rock, US92, 106 Kix, Lite Rock 97.5.


Make your plans for the 2020 show on July 3, 2020.  

The preshow and introductions begin at 9:45 p.m. followed by the main fireworks show.