Saturday, July 03, 2004

Fireworks Display

My town is home to Fireworks West, a company that manufactures (guess what) fireworks. This is no local-yokel firm; they did the fireworks for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. So every year, we are all treated to a twenty-to-thirty-minute fireworks show put on by Fireworks West. It usually takes place a day or two before the actual 4th of July; this year because the 4th is on a Sunday, the show was last night (Friday).

This show goes above and beyond the usual boom-boom fireworks one typically sees over a town on 4th of July. It is a full-fledged spectacle that you can buy tickets to see. They basically light the university stadium on fire and people all over the valley watch it explode into showers of multicolored sparks for half an hour. (Then everybody leaves and spends an hour and a half trying to travel a mile across town.) Those who don't have tickets to see the stadium show congregate on every verge and grassy knoll with a clear view of the skies above the stadium. They creep up the side of the mountain for a free view of part of the inside show. Prime seats and positions near the hospital and the Applied Technology Center are staked out all day long by chair-watching volunteers.

This year, Fireworks West outdid themselves. They had fireworks of a type I've never seen before. These fireworks exploded as usual into a ball of sparks, but then just when the ball got almost too large, each spark divided into four and replenished the ball. There were fireworks that looked like flowers and ringed planets, and fireworks that descended into a scintillating weeping-willow tree shape. There were fireworks that exploded with the voice of a cannon (these accompanied the broadcast of the 1812 overture) and fireworks that "sizzled". It was just incredible. I wonder if we get to try out all the newest fireworks before everyone else gets to see them.