From L Hope Dossett Stadium for Cougar Football to Nissan Stadium for the Tennessee Titans, From the LaFollette Christmas Parade to the Independence Day fireworks in our nation’s capitol one name rings true when excellence in fireworks is mentioned. That is Pyro Show’s.
It was the 50th day of the 50th year for Pyro Shows. A who’s who of Campbell County arrived at the former Shelby’s Grocery, now revitalized years later as the Pyro Shows office, to celebrate with a party and a ribbon cutting by the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.
County Mayor E.L. Morton spoke of how Pyro Shows was the ambassador to the world for Campbell County. LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield spoke of how important of a business it was to our area and also spoke of Pyro Show’s owner Lansden Hill blowing up toilets in their school days.
Hill then took the microphone and regaled the gathered crowd with stories from his youth of gathering bottles for their return deposit and coming to Shelby’s, now his headquarters, to exchange the bottles and then using the money to purchase sulfur and salt peter to go home and make his own gun powder. He also spoke of his first show in 1969 shooting a handful of shells for the Imperial Reading Shirt Factory’s annual company picnic, a show he made $36 for. Now Hill and his company has grown into shooting fireworks extravaganzas all over the world. Hill remains the man in charge but also introduced his son Garrett to the crowd as the man who would continue carrying Pyro Shows on into the future.
When it came time to cut the ribbon it was also done in a uniquely Pyro Shows manner. In lieu of the traditional scissors a cord was lit and it cut the ribbon as gas jets fired off and fire pots made the frigid temperatures seem like a hot summer day briefly.
The crowd was then invited inside for a delightful lunch provided by Donna Wallace Catering and to watch videos of some of Pyro’s greatest shoots. Hill himself spent the lunch chatting with the gathered crowd and you could tell from the smile on his face and the tone of his voice that he appreciates the community as much as it appreciates him.