As we drove to Koontz Lake yesterday to celebrate the 4th of July at my dad’s house, we passed by a curious sight. The neighbors, maybe 3 doors down, were already doing fireworks. I’ve never been so tempted to crash the party and get a picture. They had pulled an old microwave oven out and placed it at the end of their driveway near the road. They were using the microwave to secure bottle rocks by shutting the stick in the door. That is “so Indiana” I thought to myself, or genius. Really, who’s to judge?
This year we had family from Boston in town which made the occasion extra special. They were telling us fireworks are prohibited in Massachusetts. Can you imagine!? But in Indiana, we are a crazy bunch when it comes to celebrating Independence Day. Hoosiers are all about the U S of A, we love our right to bare arms AND fireworks and be sure to liberally exercise both, just ’cause we can. If you grew up in Indiana, you undoubtedly have a crazy story or two about fireworks; kids almost losing an eye, fields catching fire, drunk men bumping into each other with buckets of water and garden hoses trying to put something “out”, like a tree, for instance. It’s all in good fun.
Every year, the firework display gets bigger and brighter at my dad’s house. He sets up his arsenal at the end of his pier on Koontz Lake and waits until dark. Here’s my dad preparing….
He’s only half kidding, but if you notice in the picture below, you’ll see his DIY (that’s funny, right?) bottle rocket launch pad. He rigs the board with last years empty firework tubes, screws them onto the board, and with 2 fire extinguishers nearby, he’s ready to go!
This year, my dad really out did himself with a 115 shot firework box as his finale:
Another Koontz Lake 4th of July ‘tradition’ is the boat parade, which predominately consists of one boat tugging a bunch of stuff along like a train (think replica Statue of Liberty, an inflated giant Bald Eagle in red, white, and blue, an enormous flag, and a liberty bell, all of which are wrapped in strands of lights). There is always a “caboose” boat trailing behind which plays loud patriotic music and around the lake they putt, putt! Each year, we chatter enthusiastically about how we’ll design the best float next year, how we’ll decorate the pontoon and wave our flags and putt putt around. We never do however, in fact, it’s only when we see the 2 boat parade every year that we remember even forgetting! That’s the 4th of July ’round here, always WAY more fun than we remember! But we really should be in the boat parade next year!
A small part of my dad’s firework display this year.