Charlie MV
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Our Neighborhood Fireworks Show

There is so much to say about it that the biggest problem is where to start.

First, we shoot them out of Joseph Stalin's head. I guess that's a good place to begin. We moved to this small mill neighborhood 7 years ago. Mostly we have very elderly neighbors. The annual New Year show here began because a neighbor's 7 year old grandson wanted see fireworks. We had about 12 people that year.

Last year we had close to 40 people and they come from as far as Kansas. Most of the neighbors and visitors buy around $75 worth of fireworks so the show starts at about 7 and ends at 10. So far nobody has been killed or seriously injured but you'd be amazed at how fast a 90 year old can move when one of those multiple shooter things falls over on it's side and starts firing horizontal instead of vertical. They actually spin around in a circle when they fall over so the danger is pretty much everywhere. Imagine "spin the bottle" only with really really hot kisses. Like that...

We're in South Carolina so I should clear up the detail about Joseph Stalin's head. It's not really his actual head. Another neighbor has a brother who had a sculptress for a mother in law. She created a bronze bust of his head as a birthday present. He and the wife are divorced now. That's either a critical detail or the mother in law was a bad sculptress but we'll never know. The bronze bust is the spitting image of Joe Stalin.

The neighbor of the brother ended up with the bronze head. He's a creative guy. He also took pity on the old people having to run for their lives due to those multiple warheads that got away. He's also a welder. He mounted various launching pads on Joe's head and drilled a few holes for the bottle rockets. The first time we touched off Joe's head it fell over. Now all of this falling over stuff added some hilarity the first or second time but running from rockets got old quickly. I donated a Black and Decker workbench and we were able to clamp the head in it and gain some control over where the rockets and mortars went. I'm pretty sure that Black and Decker never intended for anyone to mount a wiffle head in their bench but there was no warning about it in the smart papers that came with MY bench. B&D legal should look into it.

The party grew in popularity each year. Our crowd has grown. I'm anxious to see how many show up tonight. The locals have learned not to drive down our street during the festivities. You know, it's really difficult to control when those things go off. All fuses are not created equal.

It's educational. There are factors most people who go to professional fireworks shows never think of. Never look down a mortar tube when the thing takes too long to fire. If you do as we do and make an eating event out of it, eat first. Card tables are flammable. It's difficult to get gunpowder out of cake frosting. The really bright boomers make streetlight sensors think that it is daytime. It takes exactly 5 minutes for a streetlight to come back on after you trick it with a bright flash.

Have a happy new year. I bet our fireworks show isn't as impressive as the professional ones with synchronized music but it's a hell of a lot funnier.

DoubleDogFarm
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:shock: Be safe and insane Charlie. :lol:

Eric

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tomf
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Have a blast.

My wife and I have worked a number of the big shows with music timed to the fireworks. You program the shells to explode on a beat. To do this you have to pre-fire them at the right time, the different sizes take a different amount of time to reach the point where they go off. A good deal of work goes into the planning of a big show. One of the ones we worked for years had over 3000 mortars tubes in it. I got to work the large shell line, we shot 8" & 10" & 12" shells, I love fireworks.
Last edited by tomf on Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

Charlie MV
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Marlingardener wrote:Charlie, I wish you a very happy New Year! I'd also wish you a safe one, but that would take a lot of the fun out of your celebration.
Gunpowder in cake frosting? Is this your version of a "pop tart"?
My wife is a bit of a tart but I like it. One of those big mortars actually landed an off shoot in a cake on the card table. When a man needs cake, he needs cake. :D You are funny.

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ElizabethB
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LMFAO

Charlie - you tell a good story :!: I have a visual image of the old man dodging the horizontal rocket and of course the rocket in the cake :lol:

Happy New Year one and all - another one bit the dust :!:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Charlie MV
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happy you liked it Elizabeth.

tomf, you are smart, you apply yourself and do amazing things. I'm a 60 year old teenager who still laughs at really good farts. :D

Image

Joe's head

[/img]Image


Joes head with sparklers.


Image


My lovely wife holding sparklers. She wouldn't let us bore holes in her head for sparklers.[/img]

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LA47
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LMFAO
Oh, how I wish I could be there too! What a great neighborhood fun get together. Enjoy yourself and be safe.
OHHH! I can't believe it but I really just heard some fireworks going off!! Really! Or a gun :shock: Nope, heard it again. That's some hardy folks out there. It's -2f outside and snowing! :clap: :clap: LMFAO

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
High Altitude Gardener zone 4B or 5A

Charlie MV
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Tonight, the boy I mentioned who kind of started the whole thing did the best stunt ever. He's 13 now and old enough to light fuses. He took one of those boxes of fireworks with one fuse that lights all. Usually they shoot multiple warheads in sequence. This beast probably cost a hundred bucks.

If anyone has shot them, they come wrapped in cellophane and you aren't supposed to remove it. You pick the fuse loose, light it and run. He did exactly that . The hitch was he laid it in the street upside down. When it went of there was a small bang at first and then it went nuclear. The thing flew 20 feet in the air with the first explosion. The next dozen booms kind of went everywhere. He hit the ground like a pancake. Didn't move for a few seconds. His mom yelled his name asking if he was hurt. He stood up laughing and the crowd went berserk.

What a great night. We don' need no steenking plan.

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tomf
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That does look like Joseph Stalin's head!

I think I like that kid. At one of the Fort Vancouver shows I had lit a battery of 8â€

Charlie MV
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Yeah tomf, he was really quick both mentally and physically. I don't think I have ever heard fireworks make that loud a boom. I've heard the batteries on my destroyer make a bigger bang but that's about it. The guns on the destroyer would knock a little wind out of you.

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ElizabethB
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Charlie - sounds like you had a great time and the head really does look like "Uncle Joe"
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

DoubleDogFarm
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Looks like my neighbor Brain. Brian at times looks like Freddie Mercury.

"Thunderbolt and lightning -- very, very frightening me"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbx5nWNtmBE

Eric

Charlie MV
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Looks like my neighbor Brain. Brian at times looks like Freddie Mercury.

"Thunderbolt and lightning -- very, very frightening me"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbx5nWNtmBE

Eric
Mama mia mama mia

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lorax
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Mama mia Figaro! (Magnifico-o-o-o)

In my neighbourhood, we built a 10' long papier-mache dragon that breathed fire, then lit it (along with the pyrotechnics we'd pasted into the spine) and watched it snap, crackle, pop, and burn. It was easily the coolest thing I've done all year (as a licenced pyro, it fell to me to rig the flame and sparking effects). I'll see if I can get some of the video to upload to teh u2bs, but barring that, here's a still of the flame breath. That's me in the denim pirate jacket and red hat, running the effect.

Image

There were also fireworks - cakes of 19 and 26 rounds of 10mm chrysanthemum and starburst mortars with a single fuse (these things are waaaay more stable than single mortars, and the single fuse for multiple shots simplifies the display considerably.) Cakes don't go sideways as often as what Charlie's describing (although we did have one go over - we all danced until it ended). We also had single-shot chrysanthemum bottle rockets, screamers, volcanoes, and sparklers. All in all, probably $300 of pyro was let off on our corner alone - I can't speak to the folks a block over, who had sprung for the 49-shot resplendant cakes.

gumbo2176
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Prior to Hurricane Katrina devastating much of our area in 05, I had friends that lived in a neighboring Parish (County to all others). They'd have a block party with the street cordoned off. They'd throw a huge bash for New Year's Eve and several of us would pool our money and head to a fireworks wholesaler in Mississippi. You had to buy at least $500 worth of stuff to get in and we'd do that every year for several years.


We would literally fill the back of a full size pickup truck. We would buy the big stuff for the most part and have some smaller things for the younger kids that were present. I remember one year we rolled out something like 50K firecrackers in huge rolls in the middle of the street and my step-son and his cousin, but 14 at the time, were running around with a lit punk in their hands when one of them fell down amid the fireworks and set them off about 10 minutes to midnight. The kids got away without getting as much as a scratch but it sounded like a battle zone for about 2 minutes.

After the fireworks were shot, we'd take rakes, brooms, large shovels and many garbage bags to clean the street of the mess. Since the storm, all the folks on that street scattered to parts unknown. Such is life.

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ElizabethB
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Lorax - nutz: :clap: nutz: :clap:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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tomf
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Cool dragon Lorax.

Charlie MV
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lorax wrote:Mama mia Figaro! (Magnifico-o-o-o)

In my neighbourhood, we built a 10' long papier-mache dragon that breathed fire,

Image

Cakes don't go sideways as often as what Charlie's describing..

First, show off....

Second, They do if:

1- you don't know what you're doing.

2- you light one upside down.

:D



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