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Jeruba's avatar

Greatest fireworks display you've ever seen?

Asked by Jeruba (41917 points ) July 4th, 2013

Where and when, and what was the occasion?

I used to see them in Boston every Fourth of July, including 1976 on the Esplanade, and once in the harbor, synchronized with Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music. Growing up, it was always someplace on the South Shore. And I’ve seen Independence Day fireworks in little towns (always great!), in Massachusetts, Iowa, and California. There’ve been other displays on both coasts and in the Midwest over the years, some big and some bigger.

But the best I’ve ever seen, bar none, was in Interior, South Dakota (pop. 67), a year ago today. My trip journal says: “It was without a doubt the most spectacular I’ve ever seen. It was virtually nonstop for about 45 minutes, rather than the usual pauses between launches, and there was just a steady stream of overlapping bursts, huge and colorful.”

I’m blowing kisses to Interior for a thoroughgoing surprise that became an unforgettable experience.

What’s yours?

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7 Answers

augustlan's avatar

It would either have to be the ones I saw in Walt Disney World in Florida or one of the many times I saw them in on the mall in Washington, DC, but for different reasons. For sheer magnificence of display, Disney World wins. While they’re going off, though, many people are just walking around not paying much attention. It’s secondary to the reason they’re there. Watching them in the nation’s capital, with many thousands of other people sitting around the reflecting pool on the mall is an experience I’ll never forget.

Tachys's avatar

Okazaki, Japan. One of the most famous shows in Japan, and they love their hanabi (fireworks).

gondwanalon's avatar

The best fireworks display was the first one that I can remember in 1955 (I was 4 years old). I remember walking to the side of a lake with my Mom, Dad and two older sisters in Wisconsin. I can still see the rockets bursting into colossal balls of fire in the sky. I had no idea what it was all about. Nor did I care. I just went with it. Sadly my Dad died from leukemia 9 months later. Nowadays I when I watch fire works I don’t think much of the beauty of the spectacle. In fact it bores me and I think about things that I could be doing. It seems like a waste of time and I just want to get away.

YARNLADY's avatar

One year we were in Las Vegas on the 12th floor of a hotel and we watched the fireworks from all over the city. It was really fun.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Washington DC, July 4 1976 (Bicentennial) – I was on the National Mall that night, and it was awesome.

GoldieAV16's avatar

Not “greatest” but most memorable: The year we went to a show and the pyrotechnicians decided to explode the fireworks closer to the ground, due to a think low cloud cover. Hot ashes and what felt like bits of hot gunpowder were raining down on the crowd. It was equal part hilarious and frightening.

thorninmud's avatar

I was in Juneau, Alaska over one Fourth. Juneau sits on a narrow ocean channel, squeezed between a mountainous island on one side and a steep range on the mainland side (see here).

The fireworks were launched from a Navy barge out in the channel, and we watched from somewhere up on the mainland slope, so the bursts were not far above our eye level. Best of all was the sound: confined between the two slopes, the booms were much more potent.

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