Tag Archives: fireworks

Christmas Lights vs Fireworks

I’m not a fan of fireworks. It is difficult to enjoy the show when all I see is money exploding in the sky. As I watch I try to guess how much each burst of color cost. And it quickly becomes depressing.

Fireworks in Altoona.

That being said, I enjoy going to baseball games that feature a postgame fireworks show. Why? Because the vast majority of the crowd stays to watch the pyrotechnics and that results in light traffic as I leave the ballpark.

Fourth Fest in State College.

Outdoor Christmas decorations (to be politically correct maybe I should say winter holiday decorations) do not bother me unless they are grossly in excess. As a kid I found Christmas lights more enticing than fireworks.

A December late afternoon in State College.

I thought about this on Monday as I walked home from campus. The afternoon was preparing to change into evening, the temperature was cold (I normally walk home in the dark, but my stats class wrapped up early that day, so a bit of light remained). During the walk I decided that my preference for Christmas lights over fireworks can be traced to these reasons:

Season. Christmas lights signify the presence of the cold season holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Parties, presents, and all sorts of fun. I do not associate fireworks with a particular holiday. Yes, they are common on the 4th of July, but I’ve seen more non-4th of July fireworks shows than 4th of July fireworks shows. Fireworks are associated loosely with the summer, but it is a weak association because I frequently went entire summers without seeing fireworks.

Duration. Watching fireworks feels like eating with chopsticks to me. Lots of effort for little payoff. The dramatic sights are elusive. A particularly nice explosion is there and gone, leaving a void. You have no idea what is coming up next. Christmas lights are consistent. When it is dark they are lit. They don’t disappear for extended periods of time, making you wonder if the show is over. You can savor them, see what they have to offer, then move on.

Cost. Christmas lights have a cost, and when coupled with the electricity bill I’m sure it is more than pocket change. But the cost of a humble assortment of lights pales in comparison to a fireworks show.

Noise. I’m not a fan of loud noises. Christmas lights tend to be quieter than fireworks.

Christmas lights in State College.

So if you host an ultimate cage fight in your mind which emerges victorious, Christmas lights or fireworks?


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Fireworks Photos

This evening I walked through the woods to an elevated field behind my apartment to watch the Central PA 4th Fest fireworks. I’m not a fan of fireworks. As they paint the sky in brilliant bursts of color I see money exploding. It pains me.

Tonight I decided to photograph the fireworks. That way they live on, providing a slightly better return on the investment.

I arrived at the field right as the fireworks were starting. Approximately 50 people were already there, and another 20 arrived during the show. Someone brought a radio, which was playing the music the fireworks were choreographed to. The view was nice, though I’m curious how the show would have looked from another angle. It seemed to me that too many of the fireworks overlapped and competed with each other. Maybe that wasn’t the case from other angles.

Here are a few shots I took:


One of my favorites, a sweet blue explosion.


White globes that exploded very fast.


This combo was very orange.


Part of the grand finale.


The grand finale continues. . .

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