Fireworks Paddle: 4th of July 2017

Filed by trip leader Ben Towne

On the 4th of July 2017, the CMU Explorers boarded a raft in the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh for the Flashes Of Freedom show by StarFire Corp, "with handmade firework shells in the form of strobes, jellyfish, golden willows and sunflowers, and a special structure that create[d] a 180-degree firing effect."  They were choreographed to a soundtrack that we could hear parts of as we paddled around the waters near the Point, in weather about as good as it getsTens of thousands of people packed into limited riverbank viewing areas, competing with each other for little bits of space, while we were out on the open water with plenty of space around and pretty much unobstructed views of the fireworks and their reflections on the water.  An encore of the show will air on Saturday on PCNC from 8:30-9:30PM, with some excerpts posted here (check 'em out!), but it was even more awesome from the river. 

We were glad to have had a whistle on board and plenty of white lights around the outside when the Coast Guard came along to enforce those rules, and next time might consider a waterproof AM radio if someone has one to bring, but not having that helped us really feel the fireworks' colorful booming explosions. Most of the group was new Explorers Club members or guests, enjoying a great welcome to the club. We had Olga V., Sam T., Anna S. and Ian, Albert T. and Marina, and Ben T. on the trip.  A great time was had by all.  Happy birthday, USA!