West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

The Oohs and Ahhs Have It

Community, Fun, Kids, Things that bug me, Tosans

There’s a brief but interesting discussion on the Tosa Town Square about watching fireworks on TV. This is something that fascinates me, for no good reason except that I have a strong opinion on the topic.


Here’s the thing: I love fireworks. I love TV. (Sad, but true.) So, you would think that combining two of my favorite things would make a new thing that I would like even better. Not so much.


I believe that fireworks should never be shown on TV. Never. They just don’t work. To me, fireworks on TV seem like a great idea. You don’t have to battle crowds, look for a spot to sit, or soak yourself in bug spray.* You can sit in your comfy, perhaps air-conditioned, house and enjoy the show.


The thing is, there’s nothing less-fulfilling than watching fireworks on TV. Except perhaps watching taped Olympics coverage when you know the results. (Don’t worry. I’ll get on that soapbox later in the summer.) I have no interest in what Mike and Carol think about the fireworks. Zero. In fact, they annoy me to no end.


To truly enjoy a fireworks show, you have to earn it. You have to search for parking. You have to lug and carry stuff until you’re sweating. You have to try to get comfortable. And then, hardest of all, you have to wait. And if you have young children, you have to listen to the endless questions and whiny cries: “What time is it?” “When will they start?” “I’m bored!” “I have to go to the bathroom.”


But when the fireworks start…when you feel that first gigantic percussion resonate in your chest…it’s so worthwhile.


And I agree with the citizens on the Town Square. Skip the music, unless by music you mean the chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs” that you can’t avoid joining in on.


While I have your ear, let’s talk a little fireworks etiquette:


(1) Leave Fido at home. I’ve seen far too many cowering, trembling pooches at the Tosa fireworks every year. The dogs do not look happy and their owners are clearly not enjoying themselves.

(2) Leave the sparklers at home. Sparklers in your backyard – good idea. Sparklers in a giant crowd of people – very bad idea.

(3) Unless you’re joining in the Oohs and Ahhs Chorus, please don’t talk over my fireworks. It’s only about 30 minutes. Feel free to chat before or after. Definitely not during.

(4) Wait to leave or be nice. The crowds are going to be HUGE. You may as well take your time leaving or accept that it will take you a while. Honking or getting irritated adds nothing to the equation.


Here’s wishing everyone a Happy and SAFE 4th of July! See you at the fireworks!


*In my last post, I talked about the shortage of bug spray at local stores. A visit yesterday to the Walgreens at Hwy 100 and North Ave. proved me totally wrong. They had lots of bug spray. Just in time for the fireworks!

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