Wayback Playback: Pop, Ka-Pow!

I don’t care if summer doesn’t *officially* arrive ’til June 21st…to my mind, this Victoria Day weekend kicked off our summer months! I always find that the time between this weekend and Labour Day weekend will absolutely fly.

Back when we were kids, Victoria Day was solely known to me as “Firecracker Day.” I’d be sooooo excited all day long, and couldn’t wait for the evening to arrive. Over the years, we enjoyed two types of celebrations, and both involved our dear friends/neighbours, the M’s. (VFBF Joanne and I have reconnected and over the last two months have enjoyed two lovely visits, shared on the blog here and here).

Since we had the day off school, The Brother and I would play outside, all day long, weather permitting. I don’t remember too many rained-out Victoria Days. It was always the day after Vic Day that it poured rain – the accepted theory was that all the “toxins” from all the fireworks made it rain (hey, this was the 70s, allow a little leniency in scientific theory, ok).

I’d grow more and more excited for the evening festivities as the day went on!

When we were younger, here’s how we’d celebrate: the M’s would come over to our house, and we’d all gather in the backyard. Us kids would get to write with sparklers. These freaked me out, frankly, as this picture attests:

firecracker day 1975; the expression on my face belies my true feelings about sparklers!

I did love the smell of sparklers, though!

At dusk, the Dads would convene over at our sandbox with the box of store-bought fireworks:


(again, bear in mind this was the 70s; safety rules were non-existent loosey goosey in that long-ago era). The Moms and Joanne, Wanda, The Brother and I would sit around the picnic table (a safe distance away), and the Dads would set off the firecrackers. Some would quite amaze us kids, some would be duds.

Then we’d all eat Tim Horton’s donuts in the dark. And laugh a lot.

As we got a bit older, the tradition changed. We still met up with the M’s, but the families would head over to Centennial Stadium, early eve. There, they held a Victoria Day Fireworks “Spectacular.” As the day’s light faded, there would be drum and bugle corps performances, and some two-bit local *rock group* would perform (it was terribly exciting the year they did Van Halen cover tunes).


When it was dark, the fireworks display began. This only lasted about 10-15 minutes, but we ooh-ed and aah-ed our little hearts out over the exploding colours. The loud ka-booms, ker-fizzles and crescendo-ing bangs impressed us, very much. We felt very important because we were up so late, and were very happy to be out at this social event with our favourite friends.


Good. Times. Great. Memories.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

How do we know it’s been a wet May?

as seen in the Uptown outdoor square in my 'hood

I’m going to keep a close eye on this sign, and hopefully they’ll announce shortly when the market will start up for this year. Last year, on Thursdays between 4-8 p.m. the vendors were set up. It didn’t suit my schedule last year to get over very often; this year, I’m excited to see what they will have for sale. Last year, about 6-8 vendors participated, selling veggies, honey, crafts. I hope they have even more variety and increased participation this year!

When does summer *officially* begin in your mind? Environment Canada has forecasted a hot, dry summer for us; I sure hope they are right!

Fireworks: any memories? Nowadays, I can see fireworks on Canada Day at Columbia Lake; the perfect viewing spot is our condo rooftop!

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  • Dorry  On May 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Sparklers scared me, too! I love memories of fireworks, though. My sister hated them – the loud noise scared her. I still love fireworks and get excited to see them every year on the 4th of July. Last year we were in Austin with friends on the lake. I hope your Farmers Market opens soon!

  • Johanna  On May 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Much as my memory is dreadful for many details, I DO recall that there was a firecracker named… the devil’s wheel? Something like that anyway. It went round and round in a dinner plate size circle and SCREAMED the entire time. It thrilled and repelled me all at the same time. Those were good, good times. 🙂

  • Zo  On May 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I’d go with summer begins Memorial Day weekend. So, it’s almost here and it barely felt like we had a spring!

  • Johanna B  On May 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Summer officially begins for me at the moment I first have to turn on the a/c. It’s already happened this year. I haven’t had to leave it on for more than an evening or two but still. Oh, and I don’t turn it on til the outside temp reaches 90. I love fireworks (not the kind you do in your yard – they scare me) but the big displays. The best I’ve ever seen was at the Christmas Festival in Natchitoches, LA where I went to college as an undergrad. It went on forever. The watchers stood on one bank of the river and the fireworks were shot off from the other side. Breathtaking.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg  On May 24, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I feel like summer has already started here too — it is just too warm to be considered Spring!

    I love Fireworks — they do some pretty impressive shows in downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis, but it is always such a pain driving there, finding parking and then finding a place to sit! Usually we go to the smaller local show around here.

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