Saturday, 16 August 2008

Off to see the Fireworks

Fireworks_Grande_Finale_2005 471 Fireworks - SouthAfrica (22)
Everybody likes a good fireworks show, and I'm no exception. As luck would have it, just across the Ottawa River at the Casino du Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, they hold an annual fireworks competition during the first couple of weeks in August.
The competition is between four countries and runs Wed and Sat nights, with a grand finale at the end of the competition. This years show is between Russia, Italy, France and Spain. Russia won the show last year and last I heard they were in the lead for this year.
Each night, rain or clear night, one country puts on a half hour show and then at the grand finale each country gets another 10 minutes to show their stuff before a winner is finally announced. Before and after the show there is live music and other entertainment for everyone young and old to enjoy.
The Grand Finale is quite the show, with 4 countries lighting off a show and then the Casino putting on a show of its own to celebrate the completion of the competition.
The pictures above are from the show a couple of years ago. Sadly I won't be able to take any pictures this year because one of the chips inside my camera has gone on the fritz, but I'll still enjoy the show.
More information on Les Grands Feux du Casino du Lac Leamy can be found here: Casino du Lac Leamy Fireworks Competition

Editors update: What a show! This year's theme of the competition was "L'amour".

A perfect evening, relatively clear for a change and no rain to deal with. The competitors had to deal with a slight breeze, but other than that there were no drawbacks tonight. The breeze helped keep the mosquitoes away.

In the end Spain won the Zeus trophy this year. Along with that award they'll get the honour of being first up in next year's competition. Well done Spain, you put on a magnificent show.

They used an excellent combination of colors and what I would consider a unique combination of low, medium, and high altitude blasts. I think this is the first time I've ever seen a fireworks show that wasn't mostly high altitude shots in the air. The Lac Leamy fireworks are fired from a barge out in the middle of the lake. Although most of the competitors fire shots into the lake that ignite and glow on the lake surface, some of Spain's fireworks were shot out onto and over the lake surface and then ignited to burst just above the lake instead of high into the air.

The only complaint I have about the Grand Finale show is the 10 minute intermission between the end of the first part of the show where all four countries put on a final show and the second part of the show where they announce the winner of the competition and the casino puts on the Grand Finale. The competition only implemented this last year, where in previous years the judges voted before the Grand Finale, and the country that won got to put on the Grand Finale. I'm not sure how they can work around that as I understand the judges need time to make their final decision, but I've noted the last two years that a good number of people that come to see the finale, leave after the last country has put on its show, not realizing that there's still more to come. Something to keep in mind should you decide to take in the competition next year.

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