Boomsday – Minus the Fireworks

Mother (with a German accent?) takes picture of girl in “Trinity” sculpture, Krutch Park, Knoxville
Girl in “Trinity” sculpture, Krutch Park, Knoxville
Among the many things I’ve learned from writing this blog and taking photographs for the stories is that I do not know how to take good pictures of fireworks (among other things). I learned this last July when my pictures were much less than brilliant. I still haven’t gotten around to learning how to do better and since most people saw them in person for Boomsday or on television, what could I add to that, anyway.
Boomsday Traffic on Gay Street, Man with Hiking Stick, plus Bikers and Cars, Knoxville
Boomsday Traffic on Union Street, Knoxville

So maybe next year I’ll have learned how to take fireworks pictures, but this year I took pictures of some of the people and congestion downtown. Every main thoroughfare was jammed and people flooded the sidewalks in every direction. This has been a visitor-heavy weekend starting with First Friday, running through the first game weekend for UT and then Boomsday. It will seem like a ghost town after all that traffic – especially with the Labor Day holiday keeping many downtown workers home.

For downtown residents, events like this do, necessarily dictate changes in our normal patterns. Restaurants where we can generally eat without much delay are packed, roads are difficult to get through, crossing roads with drivers not used to the city can be daunting and moving our cars is perilous because there may be no spaces when we return. But then, it’s fun and exciting to have large crowds. The key is that many things that one might do thoughtlessly in a suburb may require a certain amount of thought and planning in the city.

I saw one of my favorite bumpers ever on a vehicle and didn’t take a picture! I decided I would catch it on the way back and, of course, it was gone. The three stickers I can remember said, “Miles,” “Tool” and “Cash.” I was pretty certain that Tool was the hard rock band and Cash didn’t mean money, but rather Johnny. I questioned the other, not believing that so much musical diversity could be contained on one bumper. I was wrong: the owner confirmed it was Davis. Impressive bumper, indeed.

I thought the fireworks were excellent. I’d never seen quite a few things they did, but I’m no expert. I liked the hearts, the triangle (I only saw one) and the waterfall effect. Once the fireworks ended, the fun did not stop. It took around two hours for everyone who was leaving town to finish their business, find their cars and head home. The group of girls below decided it would be fun to sit on the brick wall below the Lincoln Memorial campus and scream and wave at all the cars passing. Their flashing devil horns drew a good bit of attention. They yelled until midnight and many people screamed and waved right back at them. What could cap a good Boomsday better than that?
Two Little Devils and a devilish friend yelled at cars until midnight

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