Yes, I’m feeling inspired by the thought of all those July 4th fireworks. I’m traveling so I missed the explosive fun on the East River in New York. Each year it’s an enormous display of color, lights and—most telling for me—thunderous sounds. The banging, crashing, jarring, stomach dropping explosions always overpower the music.

Here’s my question… What is it about fireworks that entrances crowds? Yes, the carefully arranged colorful plumes are beautiful, but is it something more? Is it, in fact, that banging, crashing, jarring, stomach dropping explosive sound track? Fireworks are aggressive and demanding. They are symbolic of real warfare, but made absolutely pretty.

So, are we drawn to it because of the extravagant display or the warrior sounds? I’m not sure. I’ve seen many displays, in different places. July 4th in NYC is a particularly big event and, over the years, I’ve often missed it—even avoided it. If there’s a convenient roof with a view and a good party—I’m in, but the crowds along the river are huge and uncomfortable.

Huge uncomfortable crowd, loud alarming noises, wild displays of color on a darkened sky…Woo Hoo! The perfect setting for a story. I can see a chase scene through the crowd; the thundering blasts that make the characters jump, cover nefarious pops of gunfire and mask cries for help.

Um… Gotta see what I can do with this while I’m far away from the madding crowd.




  1. It’s a very good question Candy. On balance I think most people go there for the dazzling displays but they actually enjoy being made to jump by the loud bangs that accompany firework displays.
    I doubt very much that youngsters know the sounds of warfare and so like their parents make for places where the displays can be seen at their best.
    Of course the writers amongst us will be plotting out where best to stick the cries for helps, the screams and the sound of the gun going off.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Candy Korman

      Good points! Especially the notion that we enjoy jumping at the loud bang. It’s a big component in scary movies and books. The BOO! factor. The things that make us jump, make us laugh as we realize we aren’t actually being harmed.

  2. I remember the Daughter used to be terrified of fireworks as a child…

    I like them, and I’ll watch the New Year’s Eve displays but rarely in the flesh. On the few occasions when I’ve been in the crowd it was the excitement generated by the ‘mob’ that I remember the most. Perhaps that’s why mob violence occurs – because of that instant feedback loop.

    • Candy Korman

      Yes! It is the energy of the mob, stimulated by the sound and light show. It’s primal—a noisier, brighter version of a gathering around a fire to for a ceremony in prehistoric times.