Starting the year with a bang!

You will not believe what I am about to tell you.  I know that you won’t because if you had told me before I had experienced it myself, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But here it is:

The Most Incredible New Year’s Fireworks happen in Harahan, Louisiana.

“Harahan, the little industrial satellite of New Orleans proper, floating along the Mississippi in the shadow of the Huey P. Long?  THAT Harahan?”

THAT Harahan.  I know.  I’m still a little astounded, myself.

We didn’t have the video camera or the still camera to really capture it, but could one really?  Maybe, too, it’s the surprise of quality home-spun fireworks, coming from every vantage, that boosts the collective experience into something of legend.  All night, we had ventured out from Renee’s to watch her “redneck neighbors” light off fireworks (the phrase was used as a term of endearment, particularly considering present company).  And while they were generally good and impressive fireworks, we really didn’t think much more was going to happen.  But after listening to Renee’s insistence about how it was going to “knock your socks off” once midnight hit, we were convinced to go out again, in the cold, to see what would happen at 12.

Most were completely illegal, no question.  Word is that “a place on the West Bank” can hook you up.  They weren’t of the same force of, say, of the professional rockets used in a major city’s display — only because they didn’t have the powder to go as high.  But they were that big.  And that colorful.  And with all the little trick fireworks that you see in the big displays: the multi-color blooms, the ones that sparkle, the ones that pop and then explode in a hundred stars, the zingers, the changing-color ones that fill the sky.  All of them — and with precision, overlap, and timing that one would expect from a professional display.  But here was the truly amazing part…

It wasn’t just the 15 minutes of fireworks happening 20 feet away, filling the sky right above our heads.  It was that there were more than a dozen — at least — displays of the same type and caliber happening all around us.  Down the street, across the highway, a few streets over.  Filling the sky at nearly perfect 5 degree marks completely around us.  Surrounded by fireworks.  Everywhere, fireworks.  All of us stood in the street with our mouths hanging open, and as it continued, a few fell into impressed shouts and whoops, and a few (me included) into disbelieving laughter.  All Paul could say was, “no one will ever believe us.”

Indeed.  I know you don’t.  You can’t.  It’s just not possible.

But you heard it here: Harahan, Louisiana is the place to be for fireworks on New Year’s Eve.