We were getting ready to light off some fireworks last night at Lisa’s parents’ place, and one of her sisters asked where we were going to watch real fireworks. We chuckled, and proceeded to show them how we do things in our neighborhood. We tossed some mortar shells up, and everyone oohed and aahed. The joke, however, was on them. Because in North Mpls, every house has a box of mortar shells. I have gone downtown for the ‘official’ fireworks displays, I’ve watched Stillwater’s display from a private boat on the St. Croix, I’ve watched the St. Paul display over the capitol building, but I’ve never seen anything like the Fourth of July on the north side. This year we were feeling bold after our detonations in the libertarian northland, and decided the cannons could make a stop on the front lawn before returning to the garage. We launched a half-dozen or so to the universal approval of our neighbors, but it really could not compare to the others on the block.
North Minneapolis has such a grassroots fireworks display that from dusk until midnight or so, you think you’re in a war zone. Literally every other household is gathered in the alley behind their home, launching professional-grade Kamuros and Spiders into the night sky. God knows where these people get the hundreds of dollars required for these ridiculous explosions when I see all these neighbors every day buying off-brand milk with EBT cards, but God Bless ‘em, these displays are beautiful, and plentiful. We got back into town around sundown, lit our few, and then sat with beers in the balmy summer dark until 11:00 P.M. or so watching some anonymous pyrotech artist across the alley shooting impressively crazy misdemeanors into the air. The battery on my camera was, unfortunately, dead, but here are some photos from a couple years ago that are comparable to last night’s display: