The Big Bang in Dayton, Kentucky

by Beth Nyman

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It’s the Fourth of July, and of course this holiday goes hand-in-hand with fireworks. In my experience, Fourth of July fireworks generally have two distinct display styles;
1) Big, professional, and requiring a car ride and tedious parking at a large public venue, or
2) Small, store-bought, at a neighborhood party or just on the sidewalk in front of the house.
Then there’s Dayton.
Last year we found ourselves sitting on the front porch of our new Dayton, Kentucky house on Forth of July evening. We had come back from someplace, and we weren’t that interested in going anywhere to see fireworks. In fact, as my kids have gotten older, I found that fireworks don’t hold the same thrill for me that they once had, which made me a little sad. Fireworks and I had lost our mojo. Maybe I was getting old, but there was no way I was leaving the house again that night.
As evening came and the Dayton neighborhood fireworks got going, we said things, like “wow” and “they’re really into this, aren’t they?” As they continued, our comments changed, “You’ve got to be kidding” and “Seriously, is that legal?” I have absolutely no idea what’s legal or illegal, but the multi-colored explosions going off in what seemed to be my front yard looked like something out of the WEBN shows. The noise sounded like gunfire, like grenades, this was little Iraq, Beirut on the Ohio. We were stunned. We were also alone, therefore we had no witnesses. We tried to document this spectacle with video, but the iPhone was useless when trying to capture the relentless onslaught of blinding, deafening, pyrotechnic firepower filling every passing second that is the Dayton Fourth of July Random Neighborhood Fireworks Experience. Apparently all these Dayton neighbors were in on it too, there was incoming from 360 degrees. Who knew? Nobody tells us anything. “This is insane!”, we yelled, “Who the hell is doing that?”  “They’re everywhere!” and finally just a string of  “Oh my God!!”!’s.
 We sat watching until close to 3 am, first stunned, then hypnotized, then finally exhausted. In the morning, normalcy had returned. From what I have read on Wikipedia,, that night we witnessed “spiders”, “fish”, “waterfall’s, “corsets”, “diadems”, “palms”, and “willows” (not a complete list). Sounds included “bangs and reports”, “crackles”, “hummers”, and “whistles” (again, not a complete list). We’ve really got to hand it to you Dayton, when you do fireworks, you don’t fool around.
It’s year two, but this year will be different here at the Dayton house. There will be no sitting on the deck with our mouths hanging open. My husband has just returned home with $79.00 worth of the biggest and loudest stuff he could find. Look out Dayton, this year we’re returning fire.
P.S. Please follow all safety precautions on fireworks, and Happy Fourth!

1 reply »

  1. That was great! I just read it to my extended family and they loved it. We were totally expecting your ending to say that you were going out of town. Glad you’re going to fire back instead. Welcome to the neighborhood!


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