Every New Year's Eve we go out to dinner with a big group of friends.
Then we go downtown and check out the results of the wreath competition.
Some are incredibly beautiful.
Some are incredibly creepy.
Then we check out the Christmas tree decorations. This one was decorated completely with origami.
This one was decorated with flip-flops (slippahs if you're local).
Then we check out all the Christmas lights which includes seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus starting their Hawaiian vacation now that the busy season is over.
Then we head over to a friend's house to watch fireworks. The fireworks in Hawaii are an amazing thing to behold. Even average citizens come up with an amazing amount of firepower on New Year's Eve. However, after an intensely heated debate, fireworks will now be illegal in Hawaii. There have been too many accidents, too many homes set ablaze, too many injuries. I believe the professional fireworks shows will continue, but ordinary folks won't be setting off fireworks in the street like usual. So this year was especially poignant for all of us as we knew it would be the last time we get to have this portion of our traditional celebration.
The cool thing about the fireworks in the neighborhood we go to is that the folks across the street have access to professional grade fireworks. And I'm talking about those huge ones that explode way up over head in giant colors and with giant BOOMS. We have a good time watching them light them and then get the heck out of dodge. It's fun to see them shoot up and then explode in the sky.
We were watching all of this with great glee when one of the moms asked, "Are you sure this is safe?"
One of the dads replied, "Of course, those things are really stable. The way its set up it can't........"
His words were cut off by an amazing series of blasts all around us. One of the professional fireworks was apparently put in a tube upside down and when it couldn't go up, it went out. A firebomb exploded against the cars to our left, then another explosion happened just to the right of our kids. I saw Katie lit up in silhouette as something exploded near her. Then another one shot into the crowd across the street. About that time we all snapped out of our frozen trance and started yelling for everyone to take cover and get out of the way. Three more explosions hit the house to our right before it ended. Luckily, no one was injured, and damage to the houses and cars was minor.
Ben described it best when he said, "Everyone went 'Ooooh. Aaaaah. OOOH! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!'"
Amazingly, one of the teen girls was videoing when it happened. This is her video of our explosive New Year's Eve celebration:
My favorite part is at the end when the videographer says, "I got video!" And a teen boy replies to her, "Can you send it to me on Facebook?"
We all have our priorities!
We all have our priorities!