The PVScene went to the fireworks show at the baseball stadium Monday night, April 20, for the opening of the Puerto Vallarta International Fireworks Symposium. We had planned to hit, also, the Malecón show that was to follow this one, but got side railed at a small bar half a block away from the stadium. Photos will soon follow (of the fireworks).
This show was primarily castillos, with, probably, two dozen of them set up, at first looking like a field of makeshift oil derricks jammed together, made of driftwood and detritus by some hallucinating rough necks the day after. The newspapers all said that the show was to start at 8 pm, but, as an on stage announcer said, “We’ll start when it’s dark.” And that’s when it started.
For those who don’t know, castillos are very large constructions with spinning, spouting, spewing fountains of fire, most of which end, not with a whimper but with a small spinning projectile taking off into space from the top spire. Three of these burning wheels went into the audience this night, something of a record, I would imagine. Very exciting and everyone (except possibly the people hit by them) laughed and applauded as people panicked and scrambled when the fire fell from the skies onto the crowded field.
I started out watching the show sitting on second base of the baseball diamond, which was about as close, legally, as you could get to the action. Most people were behind me on the field or in the bleachers at what seemed like miles away, too far for me, far enough to be safe, for sure, and far enough not to smell the gunpowder burning.
I broke the bombero, police fence line separating the audience from the performers and went inside the launch area for a better view. Sparks, noise, smell, the excitement of exploding, flashing fire greeted me. About 100 other pyros also broke lines at around the same time and we stood there in awe, blinded by the sparks and smoke. In Mexico, this is ok. Intense experience trumps presumed and dictated safety.
NEWS VIDEO “EXPOSING” THE DANGER (no one was hurt)
The castillos, themselves, ranged in quality from the totally hokey with a few pinwheels to machinations that made you wonder at the mad genius that created them. I loved the 20 foot tall multi-colored Jesus Crucifixion with green 1 meter long crosses dangling from a circling contraption above his head. And I especially loved the 30 meter tall castillo that had four rockets attached to long arms that rotated around assorted patriotic words in lights and images of Mickey Mouse and camels and elephants and other exotic creatures and finished by randomly firing the rockets hundreds of feet into the air, with one rocket hitting the viewing stands, one landing in a tree and setting it afire and two others heading off into the unknown.
When the castillos were finished, a moderate aerial show took place that was nothing special, but fun. I think the big aerial show of the night was to be at the Malecon, but, as I said, we got side railed and this side railing is worthy of a story on its own, later.