GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The beachfront lit up Saturday night with an array of fireworks displays. Despite budget concerns that forced some cities around the country to cancel their shows, pyrotechnics exploded over south Mississippi's skies.
If you were in the right spot, you could see the shows in Gulfport, Biloxi and Ocean Springs. It was a sight to behold (one critique of the Gulfport show - add more to the finale. To me, it was kind of a dud).
Typically, I stay away from the beach on the Fourth of July. I normally watch fireworks from the north side of Highway 90, away from the amateur pyrotechnic shows. But this year, I set my chair on the sand at 20th Avenue and watched, in both amazement and fear, as fireworks purchased at county stands shot into the sky above my head.
At first, amateur hour was rather unnerving. Seeing young children light wicks and then dash back toward their parents to hide doesn't make bystanders like me feel all that safe. But after awhile, I realized my perch was out of harm's way.
From what I could tell, the kids lit the fireworks that didn't have much pop. Adults, on the other hand, brought out the heavy artillery. And I must confess, what the older generation shot was quite entertaining - and probably quite expensive. At times, it was hard to tell if what I was watching on the beach was part of amateur hour, or the city show.
I have two complaints about my beach experience. The first complaint is that people kept firing their rockets, even after the professional show started. As Stephanie Tanner used to say on the TV show Full House, "How rude."
The Gulfport fireworks show lasted a whopping 20 minutes. It would have been nice if my full attention could have been on the array of fireworks that were fired off of Moses Pier. Yet, people (mostly children) kept launching their rockets into the air. If you take fireworks to the beach in the future, do me a favor. Put your shows on hold for 20 minutes so the rest of us can enjoy what we came to see.
Complaint number two is the mess amateur hour creates. I was thrilled to see a child carry a couple of boxes of used fireworks to a beach dumpster. But he must have been the exception. From what I've seen, the sand is littered with spent shell casings. Please take pride in the community and clean up your mess.