Fort Collins holds an event each year called First Night. It’s advertised by the following sentence: “Enjoy the wonderful and diverse entertainment presented at this non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve celebration” This is immediately followed up with a traditional New Years celebration. Followed by the traditional urine sidestep dance to the car followed by the drunk dodge.
This was the first time I attended first night in Fort Collins. Well not really attend, my wife and I actually participated. We helped with the setup and firing of the fireworks at 10:30 and midnight. The setup was interesting due to the blizzard we had last week, you see the fireworks in Downtown FC was to be set up on the roofs of two buildings that surround town square.
The roof was made of that super slippery pvc plastic material. Add two feet of snow on it so it was not only slippery but cold and wet.
After spending three or four hours on the roof arranging and wiring up my part of the show I was ready to take a break. We went home to recharge and get warm, back to FC by 9pm to get the final checks done for the show.
The turnout was less than last year due to the weather, it was only about 13 degrees outside, so the bars were quite busy. The first show was interesting, something went wrong with the remote firing system and it fired all the effects at once, so a 10 minute show was reduced to about 55 seconds.
It did look kind of cool but not what was expected. So we re-wired everything to work with a on a nail board for the midnight show. Well only an hour to go before midnight. Now the power drinking begins. The little kids left and all the bars started selling alcoholic drinks. When the clock struck midnight we set off the fireworks, this time it was much better, the fireworks went off on time and with a nice and proper cadence.
Now the fun begins. Now we have to clean up boxes of spent fireworks, wires, fuses, tinfoil, and assorted garbage. All of this on a flat slippery roof, in the dark, in the snow three stories above the ground. Also we had to deal with the serious drinkers. These are the ones that come out to downtown to hit the bars, and party until some one tells them to go home.
The following conversation took place:
“Hey fireman dude, can I pee here?… Is that OK fireman guy?”
“Im not a fireman. I don’t care where you pee”
“Cool, your a cool fireman guy”
Yes I was wearing a fire-suit jacket, it says PRYO CREW on the back.
It kind of sums up the atmosphere after midnight.
I also saw this sign posted at the entrance to an alley going to the central courtyard.
When you see a sign like that you have to assume that it is there to solve some problems.
I honestly didn’t think I had the energy to stay until the end of the night. It was almost 2am before we got to bed this morning.
I can’t tell you how good a night sleep I had.
Tired doesn’t quite cover it, but I had more fun helping to blowup FC with my lovely wife than if we went to a party. Or maybe its just my kind of party, ther’s just something about participating in the show, rather than watching.