Yes, There Will be Fireworks

I am a typically reluctant firework-goer. The crowds, the staking out your patch of grass and then defending it like a fierce homesteader from the careless bare feet of strangers walking by or lying too close to you, the super cheesy rock ballads that accompany the display. (Give me an orchestra instead.)
But even so, it didn't take too much persuading to get me to go to the Chicago fireworks last night. I was promised cheese and a juice box of wine, as well as two friends who had that pioneer spirit. (See the spread they prepared?)I have found that the best way to have a great firework experience is to fear the worst and then discover it's really not that bad. In Columbus, Jason had bemoaned the traffic and parking nightmare we'd find at "Red, White & Boom," which he asserted was the Midwest's largest 4th of July fireworks display. What's funny is that I didn't believe him about the scope of the fireworks, but did suspect he was right about the traffic. The opposites were true: the fireworks were indeed huge, and the parking and traffic, a cinch. (We found a free parking spot on the street - which you can see still lives on in my memory as a significant achievement. Forget college graduation, I found street parking on the 4th of July!!!)

The Chicago show affirmed Jason's pride in the Columbus display because the first shot was fired at 9 pm, but it finished by 9:15 pm. We turned to the folks next to us on the lawn and asked, "That's it?" I like a fireworks display where the pitch of the noise, colors, and explosions runs so high that you think to yourself, "This must be the finale" but then no, more pyrotechnics follow and you think again, "Ok, THIS is definitely the finale," but it continues once again. Last night, the finale was really the finale. Is it the economy? Are we saving the city's pennies for the 2016 Olympic bid?

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