Sunday, March 25, 2007

SLIDESHOW | It felt like the Fourth of July

It felt just like the Fourth of July tonight at the Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Finale. There were families picnicking and chefs were grilling up burgers and hot dogs. Kids were playing football and Frisbee, and the United States Navy band Freedom was singing "Proud to be an American (God Bless the USA)." It was even so hot throughout the afternoon and early evening, it felt a little like the middle of summer. And, let's not forget the fireworks.

The afternoon started out a little slow. There weren't many families gathered yet about 5 p.m., but there were some who had already laid out their picnic feasts fit for kings under the shade of the cherry trees. A rock wall and inflatable toys set up on the lawn proved popular among the children, as well as a hot-air balloon. I got the chance to float up about 35 feet over Wesleyan's lawn in the hot-air balloon, which was tethered to several vehicle so that it couldn't float any higher up. Only three individuals could ride with the pilot at a time, and we each had to climb in and out of the balloon just as someone else was getting in or out so that the balloon's weight wouldn't change too drastically and start to float off the ground while people were trying to board it.

It was so hot and the crowd was so thin that I decided to leave for a while and come back later for the fireworks. By the time I got back, the crowd had really taken over the lawn and kids were playing Frisbee and football all over the place. The Navy band, Freedom, was pretty good and it was fun to see the lead singer get a little mobbed by kids wanting autographs and pictures after the band left the stage.

I was a little worried the fireworks might get delayed because the sun had not quite yet tucked itself into bed, but that fear was quickly cast aside when they started counting down to the fireworks a little before 8:15. Tonight's fireworks put Saturday night's display to shame. They were set off right from the Wesleyan lawn, which meant they were close to the crowd and not blocked from view by any neighboring trees. The proximity to the crowd also made them seem so much bigger and breath-taking. Not to mention the timing of tonight's fireworks was much better coordinated and the start-up was just as exciting as the finale. They were definitely worth driving out to Wesleyan to see.



Anonymous said...

Do you think they read your blog from yesterday about the fireworks and decided they'd better outdo themselves...? :-) I'm glad they could have a great show to close the week!

Moi :-)

Anonymous said...

For those of us who could not make it this week, are there any "Cherry Blossom Festival" t-shirts"? And if so, how do we get one?

Stephanie said...

You can probably call the gift shop and see if they'd sell you one over the phone. Their number is (478) 751-7019.

Anonymous said...

The link is not working to the pictures.

Butler Toyota said...

Great Pics and story ! I spent the early afternoon from 2 pm on and it really was hot and dry. The Navy band rocked ! The Christian group that was on 1st sounded very good and I enjoyed their harmonies. Good turn out despite the heat and pollen. I had to wipe down my truck more than a few times. Lots of happy people and a well run and coordinated event !