Bolack continues Fourth of July firework tradition

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Tommy Bolack carries a 12-inch mortar firework Monday at B Square Ranch in Farmington.
  • Tommy Bolack makes many of the fireworks himself and adds various salts to enhance colors.
  • The best areas for viewing are in south Farmington along U.S. Highway 64.
  • People who go to McGee Park to shoot off their own fireworks will also have a good view of his display.

FARMINGTON —Tommy Bolack began hosting a Fourth of July firework display about two dozen years ago at B-Square Ranch when dry conditions prompted fireworks restrictions.

He said he was concerned about children in alleys shooting off fireworks and wanted to give the community more opportunities to safely enjoy fireworks.

While Bolack said it is the driest he has seen this area in 40 years, he will shoot off hundreds of fireworks during the annual Fourth of July display.

“It’s kind of grown into a tradition,” Bolack said.

Tommy Bolack demonstrates how a fireworks mortar shell is assembled on Monday at his B Square Ranch in Farmington.

He said he has done fire mitigation on the mesa where he will shoot off the fireworks. The area is already fairly barren, with a few shrubs and small piñons and junipers.

Bolack makes many of the fireworks himself and adds various salts to enhance colors.

This year’s display will include shapes like smiley faces and hearts.

He is also adding a new feature — a pink strobe.

“I don’t know how it’s going to look for sure, but we’ll find out,” he said.

Tommy Bolack talks about how he'll set up his mortar tubes for his July 4th firework display at B Square Ranch in Farmington.

The Farmington resident is a self-taught pyrotechnician. He said he learned about fireworks from books and experimentation.

“As a kid, I used to get the biggest stuff you could get at the fireworks stand,” he said.

He said he would string the fireworks together when he was a child.

“As you get a little older, your toys get a little bigger,” Bolack said.

He said his interest in fireworks and explosives prompted him to obtain his federal class B fireworks license.

Bolack said his show lasts about twice as long as Farmington’s July 3 display, and will include larger fireworks.

The best areas for viewing are in south Farmington along U.S. Highway 64.

Tommy Bolack stands next to a 16-inch mortar tube Monday at his B Square Ranch in Farmington.

“Those people over there in Valley Grand subdivision have a front row seat,” he said.

Bolack said people who go to McGee Park to shoot off their own fireworks will also have a good view of his display.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

Tommy Bolack opens his firework shed on Monday at his B Square Ranch in Farmington.