Campbell County residents and visitors from around the country can start to make concrete plans to visit Gillette this summer as one of the largest firework events in the world is set to hit northeast Wyoming starting Aug. 10.

The 50th anniversary convention of the Pyrotechnics Guild International will be in Gillette Aug. 10-16, and the organization has announced its schedule for the week that will include four dazzling public fireworks displays.

PGI returns to Cam-plex for the first time since 2015. It will be the fifth time Gillette has hosted the group.

In 2017, PGI officials said Gillette was in contention with two other locations for the 2019 slot but declined to name the other finalists. In 2015, Gillette was up against Fargo, North Dakota, and La Porte, Indiana.

Mary Silvernell, executive director of the Campbell County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the group has requested 300 hotel rooms for that week.

When PGI came to Gillette in 2008, 7,000 people from outside Campbell County attended the convention, according to Cam-plex records. About 26,000 people visited the grounds when the convention was in town.

PGI was started in 1969 by Max P. Vander Horck, who was the publisher of a monthly fireworks newsletter called “American Pyrotechnist.”

Today, PGI has more than 3,500 members and continues to grow. Members come from all walks of life and a wide range of experience with fireworks from general interest to enthusiasts.

The 2019 PGI show will include public displays the nights of Aug. 11, 13, 14 and 16.

Tickets are $50 for a carload of six people or $150 for a weeklong pass. Tickets are on sale now and can be bought at the Cam-plex ticket office and online at cam-plex.com.

Information about Cam-plex grounds, ticketing, camping and hotel reservation all can be found at cam-plex.com/p/getinvolved/pyrotechnics-guild-international.

Heather Khurt, sales manager at Cam-plex, said Aug. 14 is Equality Night and will honor the state’s 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Equality Night also will feature what PGI is calling the “Super Nuke,” which will be detonated that night and is made with more than 1,000 gallons of gasoline.

Patrick Filbin is the Gillette News Record's features and city council reporter. He can be reached at pfilbin@gillettenewsrecord.net or 307-682-9306 ext. 204. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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