Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Capitol Fireworks

The capitol fireworks show is a great holiday tradition. After the Little Rock Christmas parade, there is a little ceremony and then the 300,000 lights that adorn the capitol are switched on for the first time. Just as the lights turn on, there is a small fireworks show. It all makes for a fun evening out, and also a good spot for getting some pictures.

The last few years, I had gotten pictures from the front or side of the capitol during the fireworks. But this year I wanted to try something a little different. A few months back I was driving around and ended up in the Capitol Mall - the collection of state buildings that are huddled together behind the capitol building. I thought that might make for a different vantage point for the fireworks.

So on Saturday night I met up with John again and we drove over behind the capitol. It was quiet and empty back there, the acres of parking for state employees were empty. The only signs of life were the fireworks people setting up. One of the firework guys walked by, and we asked if it was ok to take pictures back there. He said we were fine, but couldn't get much closer since we would end up in the blast zone. But the guy then said that because of the heavy winds, the show might not go on. And if it did, it might be a shortened version.

So we waited as dusk settled in. It was chilly, the wind provided a bit of a nip in the air. Eventually we got some company, when a Little Rock fire truck pulled up next to us. It was nice that they came out to make sure we didn't catch on fire.

The downside to being behind the capitol is that we had no clue what was going on at the front of the capitol. You couldn't hear anything of the ceremony, so unfortunately we missed out on some speeches and whatnot. Sadly, we also missed out on the free hot chocolate and cookies they always give out.

Then suddenly - boom! Fireworks started popping up, and I hurried over to the camera. The fireworks this year were taller than what I remember from the previous years, so I had to quickly adjust the camera to get everything in.

From this perspective, it was interesting to be able to see the fireworks actually being shot up. But it was loud. The bangs and pops of the explosions bounced off of the buildings surrounding us. It was loud enough that it made my ears ring.
Saturday Night Lights

And the finale of the show:

After the fireworks, you can go inside the capitol and have a look around at the decorations inside. We decided to head back to someplace warm, even if it meant not getting to see Santa.

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