Boom!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:50 PM

After being thoroughly shamed for the wasted money by Kevin, I still must come out and admit it: I love fireworks. Yeah, I do. Interestingly enough, though, Kevin and me were both on a similar train of thought as to the main purpose of fireworks displays: to blow stuff up (his post being aptly named).

I had originally planned this as a pre-4th post, and I was going to introduce it by saying:

Ah, yes, it's that time of year again. That wonderful time of year. You know, the time of year when millions of Americans go and buy highly explosive materials and light them on fire. It's the Fourth of July!

At any rate I set a lot of the said stuff on fire last night. We had an hour long show that exhausted about half of my fireworks cache (I'm planning to shoot some more off for the next few days). If you didn't guess, I'm what you might call a hobbyist pyrotechnician. I enjoy finding and shooting off the fireworks almost as much as watching them.

Last night went really well too. About 8:45 P.M. C.D.T the entire family went out side to brave the mosquitoes, despite the the risk of West Nile Virus (a bird died of it about half a mile from here), and sat down. A card table full of fireworks awaited, and with that, I started by lighting a nifty new extra large round smoke bomb. It was a pretty blue one and put out enough smoke to make it a little foggy around the yard. Then I set off my personal favorite smoke bomb, Don't Smoke in a Can, which lasts probably at least a minute and dispurses a huge cloud of bright pink smoke. This thing is so powerful it shoots up a two inch flame at first and makes a loud sucking sound as it pulls air into itself.

I'll spare you the details of everything I shot off, but I'll mention some of the good ones in case anyone is inclined to rush back to the fireworks tents and grab a few more goodies before they pack up for the year.

  1. Pop Goes the Fountain (Black Cat): A long — very long — display of sparkling silver sparks and pops. It keeps shooting higher and higher. Really pretty fountain and well worth the $6.00 it retailed for (iirc on all prices).
  2. Boatload of Color (???): Really long, colorful fountain similar to the others but on a relatively large “cake,” causing the stream of sparks to move around. This one goes for about $7.
  3. Mammoth Fountain (Black Cat): Similar in length to Pop Goes the Fountain, but multi-color, including sparking silver, red, and green. Again goes for a very long time — probably about a minute and a half. It's a great deal at $5.50.
  4. Mini-fountains (Black Cat): A four pack in a little plastic bag set me back only $1, but these little fountains are perfect at dusk when you aren't quite ready to shoot off the more expensive fireworks. They went for about 20 seconds and were very colorful.
  5. 2 Cool (???): This one was probably about a minute long and did several different kinds of streams of color. IIRC, it also made some noise during the performance, and best of all, it cost only $3.95!
  6. Nuclear Meltdown (Black Cat): This one was our finale this year. It's very similar to the other two Black Cat fountains but adds to the excitement by stopping and then starting back up. It also goes up higher and is just generally impressive (third year I've been impressed by it!). Unfortunately this guy is only available at one of the more expensive tents and will set you back $11 for the pleasure of viewing it.

On top of these, we also enjoyed (as usual) artillery shells. Artillery shells come with a tube launcher and provide you with miniature versions of the big displays (chrysanthemums, circles, comets, etc.). These are much more cost effective than the one-use tubes and set you back only around $8-$12 for six to twelve shells unless you go for the fancy double or triple “break” ones (they do more than one effect at a time).

Well, it is getting late, so maybe I'll finish with some more fireworks reviews and the rest of my Branson post (from late May) tomorrow!

Tags: Life
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