Had a great time on New Year's Eve last night. New Year's Eve in Alaska generally means two things: cold temperatures and fireworks. On July 4, it is usually too light to see fireworks, although some people whoot them off around 1:30 or 2:00 or so. So we usually wind up setting them off on New Year's Eve.
The sky is clear and the rockets reflect off the snow. And this year did not disappoint. It was about -25º. We set off a lot of mortars and multi-shots. After a while, my fingers did not want to work as well. We only had one potential mishap: One of the mortars was stuck in the tube and it exploded in the tube. Fortunately, the tube held and there were no injuries, although old frostbite injuries were re-frozen.
There are a lot of places throughout south central Alaska that prohibit the possession or use of fireworks. If I'm correct, much of this comes from a large fire about 10+ years ago. While the fire had nothing to do with fireworks, people were concerned that fireworks could start another fire. That may make sense in, say, June or July, which are typically dryer months. In case nobody noticed, though, December and January are usually a) cold, and b) snow-covered. We've gotten a lot of snow this year, which makes for some great sledding and other winter fun. It also would seem to make it really hard for fireworks to start a fire.
Based on that, the rules have been officially relaxed in the Valley for some time. Even before that, though, setting off fireworks on New Year's was an offense that was extremely unlikely to get a ticket. Most of the time, cops either turned a blind eye or they were keeping an eye out for potentially intoxicated drivers.
So we had a good fireworks celebration and everyone involved woke up this morning with the same number of fingers as they had yesterday. Good food. Good drinks. Good friends. Good fireworks. Great way to start a New Year.