As you saw in my previous post, we spent the actual Fourth of July at the concert. On Friday, July 3, we also made the trek downtown but this time our sole purpose was to see the city's fireworks display. Last year we made the mistake of underestimating the traffic downtown and thus we almost missed the beginning of the show as we drove all around looking for a decent parking space. It was highly stressful as we sprinted down towards the lakefront dodging people left and right, just to claim a lawn spot.

So this year we decided to do it differently. We went to dinner near our house at 6:00 at Juniper 61---one of our newest faves. I mean, just look at my 'Midnight Mojito'. Isn't it beautiful?

midnight mojito
And our appetizer of chips and dip was out of this world. And huge. We definitely took home leftovers from this little excursion.
pile o chips

After dinner we headed dowtown and arrived at 7:30---nearly 2 hours before the show would begin. We brought our adorable 'all weather' picnic blanket, beer, Triscuits, and plenty of bug spray. Oh, and the camera. Of course we brought the camera.

We found a fabulous spot right near the Lake and planted ourselves down for the long haul. One of my favorite things about downtown Milwaukee is that it's so vibrant, and people are always out and about--whether we are running at the Lakefront, riding bikes, shopping, or just exploring---people DIG this downtown. And I must agree with the locals: it's pretty fabulous.

For the fireworks it seemed like all of Milwaukee poured into downtown. Some families set up huge tents and had horseshoes, basketball, volleyball, and other games set up as they barbequed all day long. You could tell some of the little kids had been playing outside for too many hours because they were just a little bit cranky, but highly entertaining. Some of the adults had obviously consumed entirely too much Miller Lite as well. It was a scene perfect for people watching, that's for sure.

To pass the time, Nate decided he would give himself a little lesson in photography. Apparently I was his unwilling subject:

But when we he went all 'rapid fire' with his shots, I demanded that he stop taking so many pictures. How dare he waste my memory card! The result is some hilarious pictures of me pleading with him to turn over the camera. Nate says this is one of my 'classic' faces. I think it's just plain scary.
omg, stop it nate!

I was on the hunt for a perfect Fourth of July shot and here is what I found. God bless America. And the tiny bokeh in the background. Bless that, too.
vintage flag

The pier was full of docked sailboats, while the Lake was full of active boats. I thought this was a neat nautical shot. And now I want a sailboat.
i'm on a boat

Another one of my symbolic American shots:
fourth of july

So finally at 9:30 the show began. Milwaukee does not play around with their fireworks. Economy be damned, our tax dollars went to a great cause this night as an hour long display shot off from three different locations. Plenty of 'oooooohs and ahhhhhhhs' were heard along with the high-pitched squeals of little kids. My tripod came in quite handy, of course, and here is my favorite shot of the skyline with one of the displays coming off the US Bank building. Note the people watching the other display from the Lake.
Milwaukee celebrates

One of my favorite shots is this one, which was not with the tripod. I just like the feel of it, even though it's a little shaky:
one of my faves, sans tripod

But I must say, the tripod plus my telephoto lens and a really long exposure made for some cool abstract shots. I got a few classic fireworks shots, too, but I like these close-ups even more.
a fave from the works


(my favorite type of fireworks, besides the boomers, are these----when the ends sprout off into tiny little explosions)
love the sparklies




Of course I took entirely too many shots, but whatev.

You can see my whole fireworks set here:
fireworks mosaic 2009
Nothing like a showy display of fireworks to make your American Pride shine a little brighter. Did you see fireworks this year, too? Are you as obsessed as we are?


  1. I know this is crazy, but fireworks do not excite me. I mean, I don't avoid them, but they also aren't a highlight of my 4th.

    love your firework shots though! Great job!

  2. Love your firework shots! Lovely :)

  3. The Bartolotta's do have the greatest fireworks. I have heard that they save the really, really great stuff for Festa Italiana.

    I, unfortunately, have this equation:

    new baby = angie sleeping by 9pm = no fireworks

    So, thank you for taking pics, because it's all I saw! :)

    Glad you found a system for navigating the craziness that is the 3rd of July downtown!

  4. I heart the firework shots!! My fave is the little sparklies at the end too :)

    While these fireworks were going off we were watching the concert at the Marcus. Fortunately we were on the lawn so were able to enjoy both shows :)

  5. LOL. I have SO MANY pictures of myself exactly like those you posted of you from when Chad gets bitten by the photography bug and goes into rapid shoot mode. Sorta annoying, sorta funny. :)

  6. Wow your fireworks shots are hella amazing! I was SO looking forward to getting some fireworks shots but my battery died on me and I was a dumbass and didn't bring the charger.

  7. your fireworks shots are amazing!! so good!! :)

  8. I love your fireworks pictures! I'm a big fan of the 4th :)

  9. Aweseome shots of the fireworks!! I do love fireworks, but as a worker at live on the levee, I get to see them every. Single. Friday and Saturday. In. July. Gah.

  10. Those fireworks shots are AWESOME!

  11. Those fireworks shots are absolutely AMAZING!! I also LOL'ed when you said God bless bokeh. :-)

  12. LOVE those pics. Damn, your camera rocks. We were at the July 3 fireworks, too, but up on a bluff. Turns out we were too far away and could barely see them through the trees! Lots of disappointed folks around us ... but we still had fun!

  13. Your drink looks yummy! I love a good mojito!

  14. Loving the new pics...especially because I didn't get to see any fireworks this year. Also what a yummy, yummy, looking drink.

  15. Those fireworks shots are awesome!!! Really really nice. Great job.

  16. Love the firework photos!!

  17. i grew up in Milwaukee and spent many a 3rd of July on the lakefront for fireworks. ahhh the memories, those are great fireworks and i have so many fun stories from those days! so glad you enjoyed them and love your pics :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Sorry that commenting through Blogger can be a royal pain. I'm glad you are commenting despite that, and please email me if you are having issues.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...