2020 UPDATE: This year’s AdAmAn Club fireworks show is extra special. At 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, the AdAmAn Club will launch 150 fireworks in honor of Colorado Springs’ 150th birthday and the Sesquiscentennial celebrations that will be happening throughout 2021. The group will also set off its normal New Year’s fireworks at the stroke of midnight from 14,115 feet.
It’s the Colorado Springs equivalent of the Times Square Ball drop. Since 1922, the intrepid hikers of the AdAmAn Club have ascended Pikes Peak to light the fuses for a bombastic announcement of the new year.
The 2017 climb marked the 96th ascent and election of the club’s 100th member, who led the group up Barr Trail to the summit and set off the light show. Since its beginning, the group has added one man or woman per year, but guests also apply to accompany the annual expedition. While weather conditions can vary drastically, the club faithfully honors its traditions, including signaling with mirrors at tree line to friends and families in town, adding a rock to the large G. Inestine B. Roberts memorial cairn on Barr Trail, and, of course, those fireworks. At 9 p.m. the group launches a five-burst test in honor of the founding Frozen Five. And at the stroke of midnight, the club fires a colorful barrage, extending its tradition and sharing the celebration with the rest of us below. “The view is amazing. I can name the streets in downtown Denver,” says member Cliff Donnelly. “Other than that, it’s very cold and windy. But you feel special because you know a lot of people, especially in Colorado Springs, are looking up to watch the fireworks.”