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Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Lights and Fireworks

Those of you who are familiar with the Brainerd Lakes Area know about the little charm known as Nisswa. Those of you who don't know what Nisswa it, it's the cutest little town with the best community surrounding it. Lots of the shops are seasonal and the summertime is when the town really blossoms. The Paul Bunyan Trail runs through the town and hosts a constant flow of bike riders, walkers, runners and roller bladers throughout the spring, summer and fall months. In winter, the town of Nisswa takes on a little different feel, catering more to the winter snowmobile enthusiasts.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the city of Nisswa has their annual City of Lights Celebration. I've been to it in the past but not for a long time. Basically, the town counts down to the moment all the lights are turned on, there are vendors selling treats like mini donuts and hot chocoloate, the shops are open, showcasing their gift ideas, and scattered fire pits kick off heat while bystanders hover as close as possible without melting holes in their coats. The finale of the night is a firework display. Now, because we live in the Brainerd Lakes Area which has a notoriously amazing 4th of July firework display, I wasn't sure how great these winter fireworks would be. Let's say I was pleasantly surprised! They were long and beautiful, with plenty of oohing and ahhhing from the crowd. Plus, watching them with snow on the ground, dressed in the typical layers of winter was odd and awesome at the same time.






This is what happens when the smoke blows into our faces, right as my sister has the camera ready to take our photo. No amount of 'White Rabbit, White Rabbit' could get the smoke out of my face that night. It followed me everywhere!



Warming up with some hot chocolate while we wait for the fireworks to begin.


Now, I know it's like the cardinal sin of firework photography to not bring you tripod. Well, I'll tell you what. I like to break rules. There was no way I was lugging a tripod around, much less trying to get my camera set up on it while it was 0 degrees or colder, and the wind whipped around us. I fumbled with the dials through my mittens and I held it as steady as I could while the shutter stayed open much longer than is usually acceptable. These are what I like to call: artistically wiggly firework photos. Or something like that.




Not bad for handheld exposures of 1 second or longer, eh?

And next summer, I will definitely be taking my tripod with me down to the football field to watch the fireworks.

Now that the lights are lit and it's officially December, my Christmas spirit is ripe and bubbling over! Christmas music is playing as I type this. I love this time of year!!!

xo, Laura

1 comment:

  1. I love Nisswa, too. It's such a cute little town! We always go up north every summer, and have visited Nisswa many times!


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