Janice Ayres: Why are fireworks a 4th of July tradition? | NevadaAppeal.com

Janice Ayres: Why are fireworks a 4th of July tradition?

Janice Ayres

It’s the Fourth of July in Carson City, around 9:15 p.m., and suddenly the sky is lit up with showers of beautiful rainbow colors that crackle, spit and scream in the air.

Yes, it’s the RSVP annual fireworks show over Mills Park that everyone looks forward to each year. But do you ever go away wondering how fireworks really came about?

Fireworks have been around for thousands of years in one form or another and often were used by the Chinese to frighten their enemies and to ward off evil spirits. Actually, the discovery of fireworks was quite accidental, when someone in a Chinese kitchen threw a bamboo stalk filled with various cooking ingredients of the time into the fire and it exploded, badly frightening everyone. They figured that if it frightened them this much it would do the same for evil spirits.

The fireworks we know today weren’t discovered until gun powder was invented. There are many ancient texts that relate how gunpowder was put into the hollow pockets of bamboo and when thrown into the fire popped and spit and thus the first firecracker was born. In 1292 famous explorer Marco Polo brought fireworks from the orient to his birthplace in Italy and began the true art form of fireworks.

Fireworks lit up the sky in 1777 on the day of the very first Fourth of July celebration, even though in the midst of the revolutionary war, and only a year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The bright fireworks gave a sign of awe, hope and patriotism to the young United States of America.

And that’s kind of where we are today.

We are fighting two wars, our economy has many people in a deep funk, causing us to be badly in need of a great Fourth of July fireworks show to help give us back the awe, hope and patriotism we can all be proud of once more.

RSVP is once again trying very hard to provide a beautiful show, but we need the help of the entire community.

If you and your family watch the fireworks each year, we need your contribution, even though it might be only $10. You can mail it to: RSVP Fireworks, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 6, Carson City, NV 89706. You can also charge it to your credit card by calling RSVP, 687-4680, ext. 4. Remember that your contribution is tax deductible, as RSVP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

This Fourth of July fireworks show will be dedicated to our brave troops – all the men and women protecting us and our freedom. We would like to add your name to the list we will send to them, thanking them for all they do and that we dedicated our 4th of July fireworks to them. Any amount you can send will be appreciated. Thank you.

• Janice Ayres is president of Nevada Senior Corps Association.