Monday, June 28, 2004

An explosive weekend

As I may have stated at some point last week, this past weekend was our annual fireworks extravaganza. It seems to get bigger each year like that weird growth on the neck of your uncle Fred. (You know what I mean, you've seen it.) This year a few of my friends ventured to my apartment to spend Friday night to get an early start Saturday morning. When we all get together, that usually means beer is involved. Friday night was no different. Knowing we had to wake up early the next morning, we came to our senses and called it an early night before the clock struck midnight.

That didn't help me as I was hyped up to buy a whole lot of fireworks plus my bedroom seemed to be tthe temperature of the inside of a turkey after spending six hours in an oven preparing for the big Thanksgiving feast. Needless to say, I tossed and turned for a couple of hours only to awake at my usual weekday time of 6:15 AM. I was going to be cranky to say the least.

Showers were taken and a massive pile of breakfast foods were prepared as we waited for the brother of a friend to show up. He played a key role in the breakfast festivities as he cleaned up the leftovers which I greatly appreciated as I hate to throw food away - especially breakfast food. We then hit the road.

It turned out to be around an hour-long drive into Wisconsin or as I like to call it, the lawless state. We soon arrived at the mecca for Minnesotans hungry for celebratory explosives, Fireworks City in Baldwin, WI. We probably spent the better part of an hour as seven of us perused the wide selection of things the go "BOOM". To make a long story a but shorter, we ended up with a grand total just short of $1,000. That makes this year our biggest display to date. A grand achievement considering we have only done this in some form for five years.

As we drove back to southern Minnesota I could feel the need for sleep hitting me but we continued on with the busy day which involved the blushing bride-to-be having a dress fitting. We eventually ventured out of town to my parent's house and my former home to relax. We chatted for a couple hours until the first people arrived with the much anticipated grill for supper. We cooked and began to take pictures of our purchases. After photos had been taken the piles of items were unpacked and the packing materials were placed in the barrel to burn. It burned for 18 hours to be exact.

Fun was had by everyone (about 20 of us) as the show was seen from four miles away by a friend who showed up mid-show. We made the bulk of the display last until 11 PM with the only mishap being sparks from a misguided attempt at launching something from an empty can. The item intended to launch never launched and sparks fell to the ground igniting the fuses on about 20 mortars which caused an enormous flash accompanied by what sounded like a building being blown up. (I only heard the explosion as I was at a safe distance playing with smaller fireworks)I think that next year I will remind everyone to launch from a few more feet away from where people are sitting as well as their mounds of supplies. If I get a picture of the explosion and everyone running, I'll be sure to post it!

For now, though, enjoy with your imagination.

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