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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Are Fireworks Losing Their Bang?

I loved going to the fireworks when I was a kid. It was a huge event, the culmination of the Johnson City Fireman's Field Days, held every Labor Day weekend, and the harbinger of fall and the start of school the next day.

Fireworks at the Joe. (Photo by Matt Drobnik)

Fireworks were a big deal. We eagerly anticipated them all summer long. Oohed and aahed, shrieked and giggled with each boom and bang that rattled through us, leaving our pulses' racing. When they were done, we were both elated--riding on the firework high--and melancholy, knowing we'd have to wait a whole year to see such a spectacle.

Later, we'd drive to the next town over for the July 4th fireworks at Highland Park. Fireworks TWICE in one year. Imagine that?

I still get a thrill from fireworks, the percussive thrumming running through me. And so we went to the Charleston Riverdogs' last home game on Thursday, and that meant FIREWORKS!

Selfie: Me and Matt at The Joe. (Photo by Matt Drobnik)


With no Friday game this week, they did the big bang a day early. The Riverdogs put on a big fireworks display after every Friday night home game. That means 11 fireworks night at "The Joe" between April 1 and August 28. Less than half a year.

That's not counting the holiday fireworks--Christmas, New Years, and Independence Day. With a little forethought and planning, we can find one spot on the peninsula and see July 4th fireworks at Patriot's Point, Isle of Palms, North Charleston, Folly Beach, and Summerville.

There are fireworks to celebrate events one Daniel Island at the Family Circle Cup stadium and the Blackbaud stadium.

Photo by Matt Drobnik

It's hard to find a weekend between April and December 31 when there aren't fireworks somewhere in the greater Charleston area (the Charleston-Dorchester-Berkeley Counties.)

At the baseball games, most people stick around after the game to watch. But quite a few leave, too. There are a few oohs and aahs, but a lot of people texting, talking on their phones or with their friends, ignoring the light-and-sound show in the sky above. The kids mostly still seem enthralled with the show. 

But for how long? At what point do the fireworks become same-old-same-old. Oh, those again. Will this generation become sensitized from overexposure? Will the magic of the fireworks be lost on kids who've grown up virtually blowing things up and causing electronic fireworks on their video games?

I do love fireworks. But do you think we're overindulging our love of that thrill? Can they become...boring? Will the displays have to grow more grand and elaborate to satisfy us? And at what cost? (A good show can cost upwards of $20,000--or about $1000 per minute--more for something more elaborate.) What do you think? I'd love to know.

The finale. (Photo by Matt Drobnik)

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