Friday, July 11, 2014


So this year the older boys were visiting my folks for the 4th of July and then friends from out of town (Tennessee) wonderfully surprised us by showing up (here visiting their families) and were able to get together late on the actual 4th -- so we decided to take Lincoln and Thea Belle to fireworks on the 5th. Some of the small towns around the Twin Cities do their fireworks the day after. Last year we went to New Prague and it was wonderful -- lots of parking spaces, lots of families, soft pretzel carts, country and classic rock music synced up with the fireworks display. It reminded Brad and I of the fireworks we had experienced growing up outside small towns. This year we decided to try Delano, MN who boasts having the longest running fireworks display (since 1856). When we got there we stopped at a kitschy ice cream joint at the edge of town. The lady who owned it gave the kids mini malts since it was cash only and we could only scrounge up enough change for one (totally un-neccesary but so kind). Then we headed toward the hoopla. There was a kinda creepy carnival (not like a 4-H fair, maybe it seemed creepy because the workers seemed something out of a Flannery O'Connor short story or a depressing 21st century nihilistic gritty reality tale) that threw us a bit off edge. There was a softball game happening at the edge of the rides which felt much more normal so Brad sat with the kids and enjoyed that while I did some awkward people watching and explored enough to find out that most people went over to a berm a ways off behind the carnival grounds. The works didn't begin until 10:30 so we waited and then headed over to the strangest mix of crowd -- anyway, we were up front and center for the well-done display works -- long, well-paced, and with these crazy new fire mushroom-cloud bombs that I have failed to find a photo of on the internet. They are so over-the-top and ridiculous and kinda awesome. I still left feeling strange and unsettled thinking about small towns and about where I grew up and changing economies and carnivals. But the kids had fun and Brad rolled with it (like he always does) and those fire bombs were quite the memory.

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