Featured artist: Charlie Harper
We are proud to introduce our FEATURED ARTIST - Charlie Harper, Pyrotechnic Artist from rural Kindred! Charlie has planned a special fireworks display to immediately follow the homecoming game on Friday, September 23.
Charlie Harper is a pyrotechnic artist living in rural Kindred, North Dakota. Growing up in Northern Ohio, Charlie could be found with his friends waiting for "Fireworks Joe" to come to town with a trunk full of rockets and silver salutes. Over the years, Charlie's love and respect for the fireworks trade grew and he said these childhood experiences were the "spark that lit the fuse" that has allowed him to enjoy over 40 years and counting in the pyrotechnics industry.
The pyrotechnics community is close-knit and the best way to learn the trade is through a business apprenticeship. Charlie was introduced to a manufacturer in Michigan where he learned to build shells and set up displays for the big shows. In 1993, the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) brought him to Fargo as part of the crew that set up the massive Wednesday night display. It was at this event that he connected with someone from Dakota Pyrotechnics in the Kindred area and decided to make North Dakota his home. Throughout his life Charlie has been mentored by several masters in the field such as Cam Starr of Starr Fireworks, who once lived in the Woodlawn addition of Kindred. Charlie has helped orchestrate many fireworks shows around the region over the years at concert venues, FM Redhawks games, shows in Grand Forks and the fourth of July fireworks display in Fergus Falls to name a few.
Charlie's love of building and executing firework displays has laid a groundwork that continues to open doors in his career. He is currently the Director of Operations at Ice Crystal Engineering, a company in Kindred that makes pyrotechnic cloud-seeding flares, and has been there almost 25 years. He enjoys using his gifts and talents in the art of pyrotechnics to help Mother Nature be more efficient here in the United States and around the world.