Happy Independence Day

If you live in the United States, I hope you’re enjoying this Independence Day.  If you don’t live here, let me summarize the event.  In order to celebrate our Declaration of Independence in 1776, citizens of the USA celebrate with high explosives, charred animal flesh, and alcoholic beverages – usually all at the same time.  We like it when our Independence Day falls on a weekend, since that allows us to stretch out the celebration a bit.

Here in Central Florida, there are a number of fireworks shows over the weekend.  We also have quite a bit of heavy rain this time of year.  Last night was no exception, though the fireworks went off at Crane’s Roost in Altamonte Springs, FL.  Tonight, there are fireworks shows in my home town of Sanford, and also at Lake Eola in Orlando.

I’m always amazed at the crowds that gather for these events.  I think one news report estimated 180,000 people for fireworks in Crane’s Roost last night.  That’s just a swarm of drunken humanity.  Quite honestly, I don’t really care for crowds like that.  Getting there isn’t quite so bad.  People filter in at different times to stake out their spot.  However, they all leave at pretty much the same time, creating a cluster-fuck of traffic and frayed nerves.

The night before, I was at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World to photograph fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.  I haven’t been there in many years, so I was surprised by the crowd.  However, what surprised me the most was trying to get out of there at the same time as everyone else.  I overheard one women tell her friend, “Go ahead and knock them over.  It doesn’t matter how many people you kill, they can only electrocute you once.”  Charming sentiments from a charming lady, I’m sure.  That’s one of the reasons I like to avoid crowds – some people just don’t have the patience to realize you can’t just escape.  You have to wait for the bumbling masses to find their way.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to make it to Lake Eola tonight, but I may find a spot in Sanford or even try EPCOT for fireworks.  High explosives are high explosives.  The trick is to find one near some decent food and drink and a comfortable place to watch.

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