In the summer, fireworks light up the sky as watchers sit in the darkness.
In the winter, the bursts of light bathe the snow, which reflects the light, making it easier to see the smiles of kids and adults.
In the summer, a sustained grand finale gets a round of cheers.
Same thing happens on a frozen lake, it turns out.
About 300 children and adults watched fireworks off Royce Dallman Park on the Lake Koshkonong ice on Saturday night. They were impressed with the whistles, pops, crackles and bangs, and of course the accompanying bright bursts of color.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fireworks show quite like that,” said Glenn Lyon of Fort Atkinson, who pumped both fists into the air as the finale faded. “That was impressive, very impressive.”
“This is one of the most awesome fireworks displays,” added Lyon’s fiancée, Jen Kenyon. “It’s, like, better than summertime.”
“Amazing show. Ten-ten review,” said Kortney Fidler of Milton, who drank Coors Light with friends as they watched the show.
“I got teary,” said Kortney’s friend April Hickethier, noting the show was set to patriotic country music, including Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” and Coffey Anderson’s “Mr. Red, White and Blue.”
“My grandpa was a Marine, so it kind of hits home,” Fidler said.
That was the intent of organizer Chad Green of Edgerton, a military veteran who founded boomfests.com to raise money and spread the word about the plague of veteran suicides.
The free show was called Ice Cold Fireworks. Hot dogs and raffle tickets were the money-makers.
“I loved it,” Green said afterward. “It was better than I expected.”
The event featured a throne made of ice where people got their pictures taken and four parachutists who dropped out of the sky as dusk settled.
Parachutist Dan Schultz said the drop was courtesy of the Wisconsin Skydiving Center in Jefferson. He had hoped to unfurl an American flag on his way down, but the conditions aloft—including a low-hanging cloud—kept him from doing so.
People brought lawn chairs, and some used little snow piles to fashion snow loungers, where they could stretch out, lean back and watch.
One other thing about wintertime fireworks: Everyone gets to go home early, because it’s dark enough to start three hours earlier than in the summer.