• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 15s

Sisters continue family firework legacy

By Heather Hintze 7:16 PM July 4, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

They’re not who you might expect to find behind the scenes at a pyrotechnics show, but Meghan and Kylie Clark are right at home in a parking lot filled with PVC pipe and explosives.

“We have a lot of non-verbal communication between us,” Meghan said. “So it limits…”

“… bringing other people in,” Kylie laughed, finishing Meghan’s sentence.

The women are third-generation pyrotechnics. Their company, Alaska Pyrotechnics, has deep roots in the Last Frontier.

James Norene initially founded it as Western Fireworks in the garage of his Mountain View home in 1949.

Kylie said she and Meghan always thought of him as a grandfather. In fact, Kylie said they didn’t even know he wasn’t a blood relative until she was about 11.

Their father, Rodney, eventually bought the company and changed the name to Alaska Pyrotechnics.

Meghan and Kylie took over the company when he suddenly passed away in 2008.

“My dad was exactly the kind of guy you would expect to walk in the room when you hired a pyro,” Kylie explained. “He was a great, big guy. He was a machinist by trade: A big, strong guy with a deep voice and a big beard,” she smiled.

Growing up in the explosives industry, discussions of dynamite dominated the dinner table for the Clark sisters.

“A lot of our stories around the Thanksgiving table were of pyro shows and what worked and what didn’t and the way they used to do it, the way our grandfather did it,” Megan reminisced.

“I don’t know that I would have ever gotten into it if I hadn’t been raised around it,” Kylie chuckled. “It’s just a weird job to have.”

Their father built all the racks and developed the system they still use for all their fireworks shows.

It was sunny and 70 degrees as they set up for the Fourth of July show at Mulcahy Stadium, but in Alaska, the weather’s not always that nice.

Their equipment is made to withstand temperatures of 65-below.

“Be ready for anything. That’s exactly it. We fly all around the state and do shows in some pretty extreme conditions, so we’re really enjoying the weather today,” Kylie said Friday.

Getting ready for the big Independence Day show definitely puts the “work” in fireworks. Megan said it’s all worth it in the end though.

“Hands down, yeah. It’s a great job. Any community we go to people are really happy to see us because we’re the fireworks guys,” she said.

They plan is to be the go-to for fireworks …

“I’m pregnant with my first, so this will be their first show,” Kylie laughed.

… until the fourth generation is ready to light the fuse.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Troopers, APD step up patrols for holiday weekend

    by Heather Hintze on May 26, 17:42

    People headed out of town for the long holiday weekend might notice extra traffic enforcement, as Governor Bill Walker has asked Alaska State Troopers to work together with the Anchorage Police Department to keep the Seward Highway safe over Memorial Day weekend. APD will have officers from mile 112 near McHugh Creek to mile 75 […]

  • DA: Anchorage man may have sex trafficked dozens

    by Shannon Ballard on May 26, 17:27

    An Anchorage man charged with multiple sex trafficking crimes appeared before a judge on Friday. So far, three women have spoken out against 31-year-old Deon Daniels. He now faces six felony charges for the alleged sex trafficking crimes. Daniels sat quietly during his first court appearance and entered a not guilty plea on all charges– five […]

  • News

    Northern Lights Blvd. to be closed this weekend

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 26, 16:59

    A section of Northern Lights Boulevard will be closed all of Memorial Day weekend as crews conduct work connected to a waterline rehabilitation project. Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility says the project will replace aging infrastructure that is corroding and breaking under the high-traffic roadway, as well as upsizing the water main in an effort […]

  • Politics

    Trump’s budget cuts West Coast quake warning system funding

    by Associated Press on May 26, 16:48

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would cut funding for an earthquake early warning system for California, Oregon and Washington state. The system being developed in conjunction with various universities is intended at providing critical seconds of warning when an earthquake has started and potentially dangerous shaking is imminent. Veteran seismologist Lucy […]

  • News

    U.S. Navy aircraft intercepted by Chinese jets, Pentagon says

    by CBS News/Associated Press on May 26, 16:24

    WASHINGTON — Two Chinese aircraft conducted an unprofessional intercept of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea, the Pentagon said Friday, marking the second time in about a week that the U.S. has complained about unsafe Chinese operations in the region. Navy Cdr. Gary Ross said the Navy P-3 Orion was operating […]

  • News

    Deceased members of WWII Alaska militia honored

    by Bonney Bowman on May 26, 15:14

    More than 70 years ago, 6400 Alaska Natives answered the call to serve. The Alaska Territorial Guard patrolled the coasts against threat of invasion from 1942 to 1947, but, when World War II ended, their service was forgotten. It wasn’t until the year 2000 when Senator Ted Stevens started the effort to recognize and properly thank […]

  • Senator releases report on Wounded Warrior Project spending

    by CBS News on May 26, 15:09

    WASHINGTON — Last year, CBS News met Erick Millette, one of dozens of former employees who shared concerns about Wounded Warrior Project’s spending and programs for veterans. “You’re using our injuries, our darkest days, our hardships, to make money. So you can have these big parties,” Millette said in January last year. Sen. Chuck Grassley […]

  • News

    Don’t call 911 to report mommy moose on the Glenn

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 26, 14:53

    Anchorage Police say they’re being inundated with 911 calls reporting a moose with her newly-born calves off the Glenn Highway– and they want you to stop calling. The mommy moose and her twins are on the inbound side of Glenn Highway near the Fort Rich overpass, near where she gave birth several days ago. Wildlife […]