Since we are normally camping and entertaining ourselves with fireworks secured from an undisclosed location that may or may not be out of state and not in the cities for 4th of July I was not sure where to go see fireworks.
Here is what I did know:
1. Brooklyn Center didn't light their fireworks for some unknown reason the weekend before and we were all disappointed.
2. I have been to the Taste Of Minnesota before and I cannot stand the crowd, the prices, or sitting on strangers laps in the capital lawn to see the fireworks.
3. I have been to the Minneapolis Fireworks that are shot off Nicollet Island and that involves way to much walking, to many people, and no pre-show entertainment (save for the people watching!).
Since Google rarely does me wrong, I consulted it for fireworks options and found a list of displays in the metro area. Most were really far, in the ghetto (and I am not one for using that term loosely!), or part of my list above.
What did catch my attention was the carnival and fireworks in Richfield. Richfield is the BC of the South so I pretty much knew what to expect.
We gathered up Kristen and Taylor and headed out to Richfield around 7 pm.
There was a lot of walking and the heat was stifling but we managed to find a spectacular viewing space. Kristen and Taylor offered to stay with the blankets and people watch while we checked out the carnival.
I could not believe how many people were at this carnival! It was very difficult to walk through the crowds and at the end of the night they ran out of soda, all you could get was bottled water.
But none of that stopped Heidi from hitting up a few rides. We waited in line for this ride for over 20 minutes. Just as Heidi was about to get on a lady appears out of no where and shoves her daughter to the front of the line. Here's how it went down:
Me: Hey, the line starts back there.
Lady: What?! No.
Me: Well, we have been waiting here for over 20 minutes and I don't think it's fair for you to let your child cut in line like that.
Lady: She's not my kid, you have to talk to her mom about that. (I should mention she was texting the entire time I was confronting her).
Lady: Hey, did you hear what she said? She said you have to take her back to the end of the line.
Second Lady (Mom): I aint trying to listen to her, she don't run this place.
Me: Maybe not but you are being rude.
Eventually they drifted away and didn't end up cutting in front of us. Sorry lady, I have had enough of people like you (I worked at Kmart for two years!!) and you are not going to cut in front of my daughter!!
Heidi just kills me when she is on rides by herself. She knows we are watching and I am trying to take pictures so she either deadpans boredom or makes insane faces. Like this picture. She appears to hate this ride but in reality she was having a total blast.
We were very proud of her for going in this one. It's a kind of maze with a ball pit, rope ladder, those heavy bags you zig zag through, and ends with a slide. They didn't really limit how many kids could go in at one time so it was packed with sugar uped, sleep deprived, overheating children.
In an amazing move, Heidi got assertive and sort of shoved a boy who kept shoving into her. See, she is learning from me!
The final ride of the evening was the carousal, Heidi's all time favorite. She made a beeline for the Elephant and was so happy to be on it I actually got some smiling pictures out of her. This carousal was a riot! The man running the ride had to sit in the middle by the gears. When he was ready to start the ride he grabbed one of the poles and gave it a kind of running start (like what you do when your manual shift car will not start so you get your friends to push it until you can pop the clutch and then everyone quickly jumps in to the car and you try not to turn it off until you are sure you are in a place where you will stay for a long time).
We were at the carnival for 90 minutes but only had time for 4 rides because the lines were insane and more people were cutting in line. Some of the line cutting was due to confusion on where the line ended. The family would be standing there for a few minutes trying to figure it out and eventually they just blended in.
The other line cutters were blatant and just trying to get on as many rides as possible before the show started. Or they were just rude.
We ended up with two tickets left and no more time so I gave them to a lady standing in line to purchase tickets. She was so grateful and actually said thank you. I was floored and didn't really know how to respond so I just said "Sure, enjoy!" and kind of sprinted away.
One our way back to the blanket a man offered us his left over tickets. We said thanks but no thanks and he went on to explain why they ran out of time. He had been standing in line with his daughters for about 30 minutes and they were finally the next people on the ride. When all of a sudden the carny shut down the ride for "cleaning" with a line as far as you can see. The funny part is this carnival had cleaned or painted anything since prior to 1998 until tonight. This poor guy had bad timing.
When we arrived back at the blankets I rewarded Kristen and Taylor with a bottle of cold water for keeping the blankets safe. They had a lot of stories from their evening of people watching but my favorite was the girl with the tutu.
The highlight of the evening was the fireworks, of course! They were amazing. I have to give credit to the city of Richfield for a spectacular display. It was plenty long, kept moving, and the finally was so full of light you almost needed sunglasses (or maybe that was just me, I am a baby about the sun...).
I was using the Fireworks setting on my point and shoot camera and I got these sweet, psychedelic photos to show for it.
I am pretty sure the girls had a good time as well. I got them to both look AND smile so that says something!
And since no holiday is complete without a goof ball picture, this is Heidi in her earmuffs. Best random thing Shawn has ever brought home!! She was able to enjoy the fireworks without burying her head in my shirt and covering her ears.
We didn't get home until after 11:30 and I was sick of being hot but overall we had a great time.