7 News Archive
Foggy fireworks don't flop
By Ulli Diemer
Seven News - June 18, 1982

Watching fireworks in the fog may not be your idea of a spectacularly good time. It certainly wasn’t mine.

So it was just as well that last Victoria Day Monday, I didn’t know just how foggy it was at the waterfront when I headed for Kew Beach to watch the fireworks. Because if I’d known, I probably wouldn’t have gone. And I would have missed a special evening.

For foggy it was, and the closer to the lake one got, the foggier it got. But when hundreds of cars are all heading for the same place, it gets rather hard to turn around. So we went.

The beach was alive as I’ve rarely seen it, especially at night. The boardwalk a river of people flowing to Ashbridges Bay – wherever that was, in the fog. The beach itself covered with little clusters of people, setting off their own fireworks displays, lighting small bonfires, drinking hot chocolate against the damp cold, or just watching each other. Kids with sparklers dashing about between the groups.

The smoke, fog, and the erratic lighting provided by the fast-fading scraps of daylight and the clusters of fireworks (when one person ran out, another one somewhere else started up the ones he or she had brought) gave everything a quite unusual, almost eerie, atmosphere. Something between a folk festival and an outtake from Night of the Living Dead.

I especially enjoyed the spontaneous character of it all – people weren’t passively waiting for the show to start, they were the show. There’s a bit of the pyromaniac in most of us, so fireworks seem to satisfy a definite need. Especially if we can set them off ourselves. It was a happy crowd.

And when the “official” fireworks started, we all cheered. (We knew they were starting because we could hear them.) If you rushed up closer to the water’s edge, as I did, you could even see the fireworks. For those of you who missed them because you stayed at home, or stood a few yards farther back – they were worth seeing. Different than clear-weather fireworks to be sure, but striking in their own right. If it’s foggy next year go down anyway.

This article was published in Seven News, Volume 13, Number 2, June 18, 1982

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