Chasing Fireworks

It was the Sunday before Labor Day, 8.50 PM. Samuel and I were enjoying a quiet evening, until his mother said: “Oh, I guess you guys decided not to see the fireworks after all.” Confusion. Fireworks? Yes, we had talked about going to see the Labor Day fireworks in Cincinnati, but we just assumed that they would be on Labor Day. Hence the name, right?. Foolish us. Turns out, the fireworks for Labor Day are the day before the holiday. Shock. We had 10 minutes left before they would start, so we made a quick decision, jumped in the car, and took off, screaming tires and all. It was around 8.55 PM, the fireworks were supposed to start at 9 PM.

Our first stop was the cemetery hill next to our house, where we heard that people usually gather to see the fireworks. It is after hours, the cemetery is completely dark and empty, and the fireworks are nowhere to be seen. Being the quick witted people that we are, we decided that this might NOT be the best spot, and being the spontaneous people that we are we started heading downtown, towards the fireworks.

This was probably the worst decision EVER, since everybody seemed to be on the same road, driving like there was no tomorrow. Finally, we started seeing the fireworks, and I took one completely blurry picture after another.
“Sam, you need to stop the car, I just can’t get a good picture like this.”
– “I can’t stop in the middle of an expressway, just use the night mode!”
“The mode doesn’t work. Just pull over. Everybody else does it, too!”
Really. Everybody somehow had given up on respecting traffic rules altogether. Cars were parked in driveways, on the grass on the side of the road, and pretty much anywhere on the road as well, as people were busy taking pictures. So it seemed like a great idea to just do the same. Until I realized a few minutes later that I was the only one left taking pictures, and Sam had been calling out to me from the car because there were about five police cars moving in on us. I chased back to the car and off we went again.

Our next wisely informed choice took us across the river, to Kentucky. Here, all the traffic lights had been disabled and there were police officers everywhere directing traffic anywhere but towards the fireworks. It was about 9.20 PM at this point, and I had taken approximately 623 blurry firework pictures. Stress levels were sky rocketing. Sam was driving like a maniac around downtown Covington, desperately looking for a place from where we could see the fireworks … or what was left of them. Suddenly, he said:
“Can you see the fireworks behind us?”
– “What?”
“It’s a simple question. Turn around and tell me if you can see the fireworks!”
I turned around, and YES, finally, I could actually see the fireworks.
“STOP!”, I yelled asked politely.
I jumped out of the car, ran across the street, almost got hit by a car, and started taking pictures like my life depended on it. WE WERE NOT GOING TO MISS THESE DAMN FIREWORKS.

9.28 PM. We were standing in the middle of a street somewhere in Covington, watching the grand finale of the Labor Day fireworks in Cincinnati. We had made it!

the one firework picture that is not completely blurry
the one firework picture that is not completely blurry

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