Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Sunday night, Saskatchewan celebrated its 100th birthday with simultaneous fireworks in five cities. And I wanted to go, and take Sprout to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The City had arranged shuttle buses from different areas of the city, to lessen traffic congenstion around Diefenbaker Park. I announced that Sprout and I were going to take the bus from Lawson Heights Mall, and see the fireworks. Jim didn't really want to go, but because he'd been through the Vancouver Riot and crowds make him nervous, he decided that he had to go with us or he'd worry too much. So off we went.

The bus was supposed to leave from our stop at 8:30 p.m. for the 9:30 fireworks, but by 8:50 p.m. there was still no bus and there were enough people at the stop to fill three buses. We agreed that we were losing faith in the process: if we fought our way onto the bus, would we be able to get home again at 11:30 p.m., from the centre of it all? Wouldn't there be even more people competing for buses down at the Park?

We decided instead to drive to the opposite side of the river from the fireworks, because you should be able to see them clearly from there, and the crowds should be sparser. This was partly true, but at some point we got too close to the action. We got onto the street that runs right along the river, and suddenly we couldn't get off. There were cars parked on both sides of the narrow street, people sitting on the side of the road in lawn chairs, children and dogs running everywhere, the occasional weaving drunk, kids hanging out of car windows. It was chaos.

And there was Jim, white-knuckled, as he gripped the steering wheel and tried to get us out of there. We did this for six miles, at 10 miles an hour. Jim was tense, I was trying to be optimistic, and Sprout was in the back, soaking up the stress, saying "Dat road is scaring me. We should get off dat road."

We finally got free of the glut out by the power station, and started heading back to town. At some point the fireworks started, and I convinced Jim to stop the car by the side of the road to 'have a smoke and calm down'. We all got out, and I could just see the highest bursts of colour. "Look Sprout," I said, "Look at all the pretty colours."

He wasn't impressed, though, by this time. "I want to go home," he said. I put him on the front seat of the car so he could look out the window. He promptly crawled to the back seat and GOT INTO HIS CARSEAT. (Sprout never gets into his carseat without much cajoling.)

"I want to go home," he said.

We belly-laughed. So much for meaningful once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


Blogger argotnaut said...

Hey, it could have been worse -- my first fireworks experience went something like this:


12:13 pm  
Blogger liz said...

Thank goodness things had changed by the time of my wedding.

1:11 pm  
Blogger Lorianne in Saskatoon said...

I've watched the Canada Day fireworks from that road. It's pretty much hell trying to leave when they're over.

9:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is you gotta get a bike - course that's difficult with a 2 1/2 year old, and biking at night!

1:51 pm  

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