Monday, July 6, 2009

*** Fireworks ***

After anticipating July 4th Fireworks for a month, Frost woke in the morning and threw up. He had two more bouts within the hour and was looking weak and apathetic all morning. I feel very guilty about this because I think it was probably a result of giving him celery filled with peanut butter with a December 2006 expiry date. It was a mistake to eat peanut butter from our basement "emergency kit" [mental note: check the expiration date of food down there]. He is now completely recovered.

Josh leaps away from a ladybug

Thankfully In the evening Frost recovered enough to go to the park with us and some of our friends who risked the pestilence to join us in some patriotic activity. As dusk fell, other kids and parents came down to watch until we were quite a merry band yelling "OOOH" and "AAAAH" and waving sparklers.

Alden, Frank and Trixie* with a Box of Fireworks they are NOT GOING TO LIGHT IN SEATTLE

July 4th Public Safety


The Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that there are no legal fireworks in the City of Seattle.

The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks is prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

In Seattle its illegal to set off fireworks and none are sold in the city. However, native american reservations around the city are established as Federal land which is not bound by city laws. As a result they are free to engage in various nefarious activities such as gambling, drinking, selling tobacco cheaply and ...selling fireworks. On the way back from Canada last week we stopped at BOOM CITY which is a vast parking lot of firework stands. There were at least 4 aisles of about 40 enclosed stands, shuffling crowds scuffling rising into the hot blue sky. Each stand was enclosed with a front counter and shelves to the ceiling FULL of fireworks. These are not the little tubes and crackers we saw as children. The majority of them are huge and villanous with names such as "Decimator" and "Big Artillery" and "Haunted Clown." Josh spent some time looking at the amount of gunpowder in a couple and said that it was significant. The large ones are $50-$100 EACH firework and are about 30cm cubes. I have no idea what you get for that amount by comparison with our little fountains and we didn't buy any that large.

Frost and a neighborhood kid run to retrieve a rocket

The Boys and Josh watch a rocket ascend

We spent $75 overall and our favorite one was a tube - slightly wider in diameter and twice the length of a toilet roll tube - into which you put one ball at a time (6 in the box). The ball had a long wick. When you lit it, it made an almighty CLAP and FLASH on the ground and shot up 100 feet in the air releasing a vast shower of color just like the commercial fireworks. We were lighting fireworks at a baseball field and another group was established at the opposite side. When someone on our side set off a big one, they answered with a big POP. We were out at the field for 2 hours and it was a most fabulous time. I hope that some of you can join us for a July 4th one year. We have fallen in love with the smell of gunpowder and next year we plan to buy some larger ones, even if we have to be outside Seattle to ignite them.


One exciting moment was when the police came by. It was only after we came home that I learned the details of the fireworks regulations (it is illegal but not strictly enforced unless there is a complaint and / or damage). They cruised the park and then stopped in the lot near us and got out. They went over to speak with another larger group of young adults who were letting off fireworks near the playground. Tara and I quickly grabbed the biggest fireworks from our box and stuffed them in our handbags like crims stashing our goods. We were planning an escape route. Joshua continued playing with the small ones as our cover since we believed only large fireworks were illegal. Fred and Tara asked if I was a US citizen as if I might get deported for a firework felony if I was not! I have decided I should pursue my US citizenship this year as I can now hold US and Australian without penalty. Then, if we get arrested for Seattle fireworking I can remain in the US in jail rather than being deported to Australia.

Anyway, A* and F* were afraid the police were going to come and arrest us but they moved off and the 4 groups on the field continued unabated in our pyromania. Honestly, having fireworks out in the field like that is safe if you keep a wide radius and maintain firework safety. Its so open and flat that there is no danger of starting a fire. Plus, we could keep a safe distance and still observe. The only dangerous moment was when another man set off two rockets together. One went straight up but the other went sideways and shot towards us for a while. That was a good reminder to the kids of the danger of modifying them at all.

1 comment:

Izabell said...

I am keeping you my thoughts today Shannon and hoping that Wrens apt brings only good news into view