Fireworks shows are hard to come by in Phoenix, land of the flammable landscape with heat and wind to keep the fire crews busy eternally. Permits are required for pyrotechnics. My children have never had the thrill of holding a sparkler in their hand, or shooting off bottle rockets, or lighting those gray growing snake dealies or even witnessing the smell of a fireworks stand. However, we do the best we can to be patriotic and go out of our way to see Chinese-made fireworks in our fair city. My parent’s church always puts on a grand display so that was our intended destination at 9:00 p.m. As we were climbing in the car at 8:38 p.m., my dad phoned to tell us the fireworks show was half way through….. it was a 15 minute drive and would be over by the time we arrived. So we drove a mile from our house to where we could see the tiny fireworks in the distant and stood on a curb watching them in disappointment.
Our youngest son has a gifting toward music and with that came sensitive ears. He is 11 and has only enjoyed the Fourth of July without a pillow wrapped around his head for four years now. Finally he enjoys the BOOM in his chest from the firepower, just like his mama. I have semi-fond memories of sitting in the car with him with his pillow around his head when it was 105+ degrees even at dark, while the rest of the family sat on cool grass to enjoy the show. Last night he kept asking, “Where are more fireworks?” and “Can’t we go somewhere else to see fireworks?” and “Are we going to see more fireworks?” You get the picture.
At home, after the miniature disappointing distant display, my husband scoured the newspaper for fireworks show listings. I searched the web. We discovered that the BIG Phoenix display was downtown at 9:30!!! We could make it! We jumped back in the car again, with our 3-D glasses for fireworks enhancement, and headed down the highway. We arrived just in time and after three or four attempts at finding the right side street that faced the display area, we scored! Only one billboard slightly off to the left, but we had a grand view. The picture above is proof that we were in Phoenix, see the flammable palm trees??
Fourth of July checklist: watermelon – check, bbq burgers – check, cheesy $4 Walmart flag shirts – check, fireworks – check. Job well done.