We are both pretty sure we’ve been here — here being Kailua Kona — on December 31st for at least a couple of our previous visits to the Big Island. We have never seen or experienced this before so perhaps our memory is a bit faulty.
This video is right around Midnight . . . not a great video, but it will give a taste of what one hears and sees.
The following photos are not in order because I want to write about the total experience and I have limited examples. I was remiss on bringing out the camera until we neared midnight. Forgive the quality because I’ve not shot fireworks for a long while and I did not do any test shots since I had but a few minutes before midnight.
From our vantage point, we can see a good portion of the area. Beginning at around 7:00pm (after twilight) we noticed an increase in the number and frequency of detonations. By detonations, I mean anything from firecrackers to loud booms reminiscent of cannon fire.
Someone mentioned that 9:00 pm was the unofficial “start” of the celebration, and we did notice an uptick in the fireworks. While it was never quiet, there were bursts of activity that had us walk outside to see what the heck was going on.
See those distant fireworks in the photos above? Those places had a steady stream of them for the full three hours between 9:00 pm and midnight.
So, like, you’re probably thinking where did they buy those fireworks and how much did they spend. Well, for a number of weeks leading up to this, various stores — including grocery stores — had large displays of fireworks that needed constant replenishing as people filled their carts with them. We are talking about fireworks that ran $50 to $100 or more per containers roughly the size of throw pillows.
Understand, these were the legal fireworks . . . noisy, lots of smoke, and quick flashes.
“But . . . but, what are those in the photos?”
Them, Bob, be what must have been tons of illegal fireworks that get smuggled onto the island every year. The cops turn a blind eye . . . and people probably lose the occasional eye.
Also, understand that these are not organizations . . . these are individual . . . like the neighbors a couple of doors down.
Those were less than 100 yards from us.
I have no idea how much these people spent, but it must have amounted to a small fortune. Perhaps neighbors get together and pitch in for their own private display. All I know is that as the evening progressed and culminated into the midnight flurry of explosions we were more and more flabbergasted at what we were witnessing.
It was grand!
Happy New Year and may 2017 be not suck for you!
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