Tim Traphagan

Meet the Artists – 2023
Meet comeback kid Tim, a self-taught pyro and 6-time Sky Wars pyro-ticipant ready to paint the sky at this year’s Pro Display competition.

Tim Traphagan
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tim’s Story
Tim taught himself early on how to prepare fireworks and create a show. He built his own firing system at the age of 22, and later showcased his talents on a grand scale at his brother’s homecoming from the Army in 2008. 

As his “passion took over”, Tim and his friends bought fireworks and created bigger and better backyard shows.  In 2012 Tim joined his friends at his first St. Louis Shoot – today known as Sky Wars—where he was “blown away by the shows.”  Tim helped at his friend’s 2014 show, and Tim produced his first Pro-Am show in 2016…and won first place!


Tim’s career in fireworks was never his expectation, but rather his dream that became a reality. Following his Pro-Am championship and after working as a 911 police dispatcher for over 10 years, Tim applied for a job opening at Casabella Pyrotechnics ( Owner Jerry Casabella invited him out to PGI 2018 in Mason City, Iowa to help them set up the Grand Public Display in what essentially became Tim’s job interview. Tim said he successfully deciphered Jerry’s “chicken scratch” show notes, which helped put the show in the air (it was a phenomenal display!) and land him the job.

Tim’s Favorite Show
To date, Tim says his favorite show he’s presented with Casabella was their 2022 PGI Grand Public Display shot in Newton, Iowa. That show featured “lots of extra frontwork,” including 27 positions dedicated solely to comets and mines. He confided that his team had to troubleshoot with continuity on the field all day, but Tim made the right call to replace one finicky cable, which saved the show from many potential missed cues.

Tim’s Favorite Pyro Memory
Like most pyros, Tim has too many favorite moments to list. His most memorable are his family and friends’ reactions while they watch fireworks, like going out to shoot novelties with his kids. “It’s not actually about the big events or the money that’s made in the industry. It’s really about family time and making new friends.”

Tim’s Past Experience
This sure ain’t Tim’s first Sky Wars rodeo. In 2014, he got his feet wet by assisting in Count Pyro’s blind pyro display, which is an event held by and for pyros the Friday night before Saturday’s main event. Aside from his 2016 Pro-Am win, Tim participated again in 2017 and snagged 2nd place and once more in the last “Championship of Champions” in 2019, where he was runner-up. Alongside Casabella Pyrotechnics, he began shooting in the Pro division in 2020 and did so again in 2021. He says he learned a LOT from the successes and failures of past shows, and now, 2023 is his redemption year!

Watch the PGI Grand Public Display in 2022, a.k.a. Tim’s favorite pyromusical he’s worked on with Casabella to date: