For the past three years, my Dad and I have been volunteers for Pekin's Chamber of Commerce fireworks show. Believe it or not, we've actually been trained and certified in the art of launching 6" shells hundreds of yards into the air. And as if that isn't enough fun - they also feed us breakfast, free drinks, and a delicious steak dinner to top it all off. It's a rough gig.
We launch from the baseball diamond: 1 aerial crew on each base path. Our fearless leader stands on the pitcher's mound shouting instructions. Among his vocabulary of commands, "LOW" is the most dangerous ... it means that a shell has failed to launch properly and that we should all hit the deck.
In our training, they said this almost never happens ... They were wrong. It happened twice our rookie year. Three times the second year. It's actually quite entertaining ... you're not supposed to look up, but I usually do just to see what the inside of a firework looks like.
This year was different. Instead of shooting off fireworks, I found myself driving on I-55 south heading home from a conference. I rounded the turn in Bloomington just as the sun went down. As soon as the sky turned dark it was illuminated with fireworks all along the horizon. I could see the shows in at least 8 cities! What an amazing perspective to watch from!
I made it to Pekin to catch the last ten minutes of the show ... can't wait to rejoin the crew next year.