July 1st, 2004

Fishy Circumstances


In years past, we've crowded onto the highway verge with thousands of other people and watched the fireworks bloom over Ontario Place on the evening of Canada Day. It's important to arrive early to secure a good spot. Bring company, some drinks, a picnic if you feel enterprising. Bring a radio if you want to hear the soundtrack to which the fireworks are coordinated.

The soundtrack is broadcast by CHIN radio (98.1), the most multi-lingual radio station in town, albeit only one language at a time. Their sponsorship of the event is done in coordination with their annual "picnic", a four day free festival of international music, fair rides, giveaways, dog shows, and bikini contests. I've ever only gone for the music, I admit. The festival is going on through Sunday at Exhibition Place, if you're interested, and it's free.

This year, we were lazy. You see, while it's all a fair amount of fun to sit by the highway for an hour or two in a good location for fireworks viewing, especially if the mosquitoes aren't biting, and fun to watch the traffic slow to a complete halt as drivers "pause briefly" to watch the fireworks before being ushered along by police attempting in vain to get the traffic moving, it's not much fun at all competing for transportation to go home again afterwards. The first time I watched the fireworks this way, I was living on campus, at Massey, and went down a crew of summer residents. We walked home afterwards - it was that much faster.

So this year, we stayed home. We opened up a bottle of Mount Nittany's finest whites (Nittany Mountain White) from the Penn State trip and turned the radio up. C. set up his tripod and camera and we watched the distant fireworks in time to the music, slightly obscured by trees, from the comfort of home. The fireworks were lovely - not nearly as spectacular as they are when right overhead, but the commute home - what little it was - was a whole lot calmer.

There will be more fireworks at Ontario Place on Saturday night at 10:30 if you're interested - you could even pay to get into Ontario Place and see them properly.