Blog : Fireworks

Cancel The Boat Parade

Cancel The Boat Parade

There are things here that we do exceptionally well. Things we do better than anyone, at any place, during any point in history. An evening boat cruise aboard a capable boat, the sun settling below that green western horizon, the calm rotation of a strong engine and the rolling push of white prop wash, it’s all about as ideal as it could be. The lake falling flat, the piers still, the lake nearly, entirely yours. This is what we do well here, among many other things. The evening cruise here is as good as it could be anywhere, and this is something we should be proud of.

But last night, with that lake doing what it does and the boats doing what they do, there was an interruption in the quality of the scene. The carnival that is Venetian Fest was winding down, but leading up to, really, the last important fireworks display of the summer. The fireworks, I should add, were quite good. Never mind that we should still abandon a relatively tedious 15 minute display and instead choose to have an invigorating 6 minute display, one where bystanders cannot help but turn to one another and question if something has gone wrong. We are not used to so many explosions in such a short period of time. The fireworks were fine, the long weekend of Venetian Fest was fine. The Wrigley’s bringing in One Republic to fist bump with Mr. Wrigley, also fine. The problem was was happened in between all of that.

The boat parade is, in theory, a fine idea. Some old boats, adorned with some lights. It’s fine by me. Cruise boats, filled with patrons, each paying the small ransom to spend an hour or two afloat, fine. My issue isn’t with the idea, it’s with the execution. The concept is acceptable, even perhaps fun, but the actual implementation of this boat parade leaves everything to be desired. I sat on a pier on the west side of Geneva Bay as dusk settled in, and the thumping from an over-cranked boat stereo signaled that the disastrous boat parade of 2019 was about to begin. I paid attention.

The first few boats, no big deal. Some haphazard lights strung in varying shapes on some of our nicer tour boats. One was some sort of blue cocktail. Another maybe a surfer. One a pig roasting over flames, done entirely in orange so it looked less like a summer light parade and more a Spirit Halloween window display. While the first few boats pushed from south to north, the music still bumped. Annoyingly loud, it pulsed from the ugliest boat to ever find its way into a boat parade outside the muddy shoreline of Lake Havasu.

Rather than having actual themed decorations, the Ugly Boat had the name of the boat rental company on the side of it. Why would this be? Can I place my boat into this “parade” and write Geneva Lakefront Realty on the side of it? Even if I could, should I? Within a few minutes, the boat parade was over, and the decibel levels returned to normal Sunday evening levels. Everyone was thankful the parade was over. Shortly after, the fireworks exploded and the display was energetic and all was fine. Another Sunday night at the lake, in the books. But all was not well.

The boat parade is silly. It’s obnoxious. I recognize that people worked hard to decorate the boats, but if I work hard to carve a maze into the giant ragweed that are overtaking my yard, does that make the maze a good idea? Let’s get back to acting like Lake Geneva, and kill the boat parade for 2020. If we’re trying to become the Wisconsin Dells, then by all means, let’s boat parade like crazy. But if we’re trying to be Lake Geneva, let’s act like it.

Fontana Fireworks

Fontana Fireworks

I admit I’m a lazy fireworks watcher. I know what happens. The fuse, the ssssssss, the explosion. I’ve watched them before. I know the weeping willow and the star ones. I know about the loud ones that flash. I’ve seen it all.  It’s because of this that I find it difficult to be enthused by a new display. Isn’t the new display just the same as the old display? Aren’t the fuses the same? Now, if they could come up with new fireworks that I haven’t even thought of yet, then I’d be interested. Until then, meh.

And this makes me a bad dad, I’m well aware. Our Independence Day celebrations are typically the same. We grill something at the lake. We eat. My mom makes some flag jello, and some blueberry cheesecake with lemon glaze. It’s all quite good. But it’s heavy and I’m heavy and if it’s hot then I’m hot. After some boating, swimming, superjetting, perhaps a showing or two if I must, I’m beat. I retire early on most nights, and the 4th of July is no exception. It’s just that the fireworks, dad. We should go see the fireworks.

Should we? Need we? Aren’t these fireflies in the yard just as good but even more interesting? No fuse, no noise, no hooping and hollering. Besides, the neighbors have fireworks that they’ll light in their driveways until 1 am. Aren’t those fireworks good enough? Sometimes we go. Usually we go. To a boat or a pier or a shore path section. Sometimes we park high above the lake, on a farm field to the West of town, were we see the display underneath us. Yes, we’ll probably go. Probably.

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. The fireworks this weekend are as they are every Independence Day Weekend. Fontana will launch their explosives from the beach barges just after dusk on the 4th. The Grand Geneva and Geneva National will send their wares to the sky on July 3rd, just after dark. I’m sure Delavan will have some fireworks, too, but I’m not concerned. The Lake Geneva Country Club will light their fuses  sometime this weekend, but exactly when I’m not sure. I’m guessing Saturday night. Let’s just go with that.

The weather forecast for this weekend is somewhat difficult. There are lightening bolts and rain clouds in my app. But if we’ve learned anything it’s that we cannot count on bad weather just as we cannot count on good weather. Let’s be here. Let’s enjoy this place. Let’s be thankful for our freedom, and let’s celebrate it by not calling the cops on our neighbors when they’re still lighting cherry bombs at 1 am.

Lake Geneva Fourth of July Fireworks

Lake Geneva Fourth of July Fireworks

If you’ll cast your memory back to 2015, our summer didn’t really begin until Independence Day Weekend. Even then, the temperatures warmed but the sky was pale. It was pale because of those whipped up Canadian wild fires, which were likely deliberately set to cast that hazy high sky over our celebratory weekend. It wasn’t until after that Holiday weekend that the sun broke through and warmed our skin. This year, we’ve already had more nice days in June than we had during the entire summer of 2015, if we can even call it a summer. It was a terrible summer. We can say it now. Now we’re smug. Like when we had a 1992 Cadillac STS and we thought it was super cool at the time, and we worked so hard to convince our friends that it was cool, but now we can just look back and realize what a horrible, embarrassing thing that really was.

This coming weekend, it’s time to make the weekend last a week. July 4th is a Monday, which is ridiculous but necessary. This means Tuesday is a wash. If Tuesday is a wash, why bother start something on a Wednesday? And if we’ve now agreed that our Wednesday is far from an ideal time to start efforting then who could ever suggest Thursday matters? Thursday hardly matters during a normal week in February, let alone a week where we celebrate our delicious Independence in July.  Friday, if by now the other days are lost, well Friday is just a throw in for the weekend. This is why next week you are supposed to take the week off. If you have a lake house, I’ll see you at the lake. If you have a lake house on another, lesser, embarrassing lake, then I’ll see you at this lake and we’ll set about remedying your geographic mistake. If you’re thinking about brunch right now and how you hope to get in the line Sunday early, like super early, then just stop it and email me so we can make this, and every weekend that follows actually mean something.

Now that we’ve cleared next week’s schedule, you have some fireworks to watch. Fontana is having their explosive display on Monday night, at dusk. That’s the Fourth of July. The fireworks are launched from barges in front of the Fontana beach, so prime viewing is anywhere on the West end of the lake, ideally from shore. If you’re boating, be careful and drive slow. If you’re driving the boat, don’t be a messy drunk about it. Fontana, with it’s brazen timing of its fireworks, is encouraging you to let Tuesday slide, just as I’m then encouraging you to let the other weekdays that follow slide. Fontana fireworks will be the best display in the area, so it’s worth your attention. But there are others.

The Grand Geneva has their fireworks scheduled for July 3rd, as does Geneva National. This is nice, because they’re being conscientious and assuming you’d like to go to work on Tuesday morning, but we all know you don’t. The Lake Geneva Country Club has their display on Saturday, July 2nd, meaning if you love fireworks you have three days in a row of fireworks. The Geneva National display will be viewable from a boat parked in Williams Bay. The Lake Geneva Country Club fireworks will be visible from much of the North shore on the Eastern side of the lake, or from your boat parked on that end. It’ll be fun.

So that’s your schedule, and as always, if you’re up and you see some real estate you like, just let me know. Here’s a new video of my beautiful lakefront lot in Loramoor listed at $2.34MM. If you want a beautiful, easy lakefront property and you want to build a beautiful home, then what on earth could you be waiting for?

 

Fireworks photo credit Terry Mayer