“Aesthetic pyrotechnic explosive devices” aka FIREWORKS!

Click the arrow on the image to watch! This was an Italian festival at Hamilton’s Ivor Wynne Football Stadium Sunday, June 17th 2012. This stadium will be completely torn down starting in late 2012 and rebuilt as a 22,500-seat venue capable of hosting both CFL football and international soccer in advance of the 2015 Pan Am Games. I wonder what this display cost? I wonder what will happen if Italy wins this afternoon?

July 1 is the day that Canadians, typically laid-back and unexcitable, let their collective hair down and celebrate Canada Day with patriotic fervour. The red and white maple leaf flags are out, local  parades are planned, and there will be family reunion picnics and barbecues. This year we can add the EURO cup final game to the mix!

When I was a kid there would be street parties… someone would collect money for fireworks and we would gather on front lawns to watch the fathers, beer in one hand and long wooden matches in the other, set off the fireworks. My mother hated this ritual… $10 we could not afford going up in smoke, danger to life and limb and property, so that the men could show off and make a lot of noise! I am sure her friends agreed… sitting in folding garden chairs and swatting at mosquitoes, they worried that one of the kids would poke their eye out running around with sparklers. We loved it, staying up after dark, hanging out with out friends, the noise and lights. But the neighbourhood dogs had decidedly opposite opinions. Our family pets have always trembled, cowered, hidden under beds or in closets. Mother said that even the animals were too sensible for this nonsense. We sometimes wished that she would stay home also and cower under the bed!

Now private fire works parties are frowned on and municipalities host large shows in the local parks. The challenge has become arriving early enough to get parked and  find a place to sit with an unobstructed view.

Ny niece is a trained and licensed pyro-technologist, someone who can not only legally play with the big rockets, but get paid for doing so… hot, dirty, dangerous, noisy… running in the dark at top speed through a maze of boxes and wires, carrying a torch to ignite the rockets in choreographed sequence to match the music. She loves it, and marriage and two babies haven’t slowed her down a bit.

Hamilton has had an interesting history with fireworks. In 1873 Hands fireworks company began its manufacturing operations in a location then far outside the city limits, and across the Chedoke Ravine, past the dump and the swamp. That is now prime downtown real estate, developed at the turn of the century as an exclusive community with many covenanted restrictions. Westdale Secondary and G.R.R.Allen Schools were built on the site vacated by the old factory after two devestating explosions. Hands, though no longer in Hamilton, is still the leading Canadian fireworks manufacturer. Check out their website  Their catalogue is all on video, where you can learn the names for every type and colour of firework. You will be able to impress your friends with a narrated play by play (or is that bomb by bomb) description tonight! Can you imagine listening to a fireworks display  narration… it sounds like a Monty Python skit!

Of course, Wikipedia has a fascinating history of aesthetic explosive pyrotechnic devices.

Want to see more? Play it again… just click the arrow on the image at the top of the blog, or check out the many videos on YouTube!

And, there must be a photo of fireworks at Niagara Falls! Lots more in Google Images.

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1 Response to “Aesthetic pyrotechnic explosive devices” aka FIREWORKS!

  1. debbierodgers says:

    I’m sure the Ivor Wynne display was stunning despite Italy’s loss at soccer.

    Funny, I don’t remember any fuss about Canada Day when I was kid, until after 1967. The home fireworks displays were all on Victoria Day. Here in Nova Scotia, we hear fireworks all summer long. (They cap off a cottage weekend well.)

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