Australia Day in Perth – Perth, Australia

Australia Day is quite the event in Western Australia. I had been told that it was a much bigger deal in Perth than anywhere else in Oz. I met up with virtuous Shannon and we secured a spot in a prime location front and center on the Esplanade. We discussed life (as usual) before Shannon went off to find the others.

I had some nice conversation with the little old man from Perth sitting next to me. I learned all about life in Western Australia and shared with him thoughts on traveling. I was touched by his concern at the fact that I was traveling alone through this world. I heard my dads` voice when he reminded me that one can “never be too safe”. This is the same man who walked me all the way to my bus after the show refusing to leave until he saw me step onto it safely. I am thankful and full of gratitude that so many strangers care so much about my well-being.

When the group came back we all nestled in for the what was rumored to be most amazing fireworks show in Oz. People all around us were packed in with their Eskies and radios. The temp was in the low 30s and we were all baking. We watched the heavy billowing clouds of smoke from a far away bushfire drifting closer and closer. Luckily, the wind changed direction and it didn`t obstruct the fireworks.

There were APCA Air Displays with skywriters and choppers gracing the vast blue sky. We stared up in awe as the RAAF cut through the sky in formations nothing short of spectacular. There was a moment where one of the aircraft went into a spinning freefall and we held our breath hoping that was all part of the fun. At the very last moment, we sighed in relief as he pulled up, now following a loop-di-loop. The accurate and precise displays had the crowd transfixed not to mention the whoops of delight from the children.

I jumped when someone behind me yelled out in disbelief “Those are people!” pointing up to the small specks pouring out of a tiny plane. What seemed like hundreds of little dots fell towards the earth until one by one colorful parachutes bloomed. Looked like God dropped a packet of Smarties from the heaven. Some had pink smoke trailing their spiralling paths creating one of the most colorful and graceful skydive freefall displays I have ever seen.

On the water in front of us, we watched power dingy racing and jet ski jaunts which we all decided would be very refreshing on a hot day like this. Everyone turned up their radios as the fireworks began opening with a tribute to the Bali terrorist attack victims. We all sat quietly watching bright balls of fire shoot up into the sky then explode into a brilliant purple glow before dissipating slowly to the river below.

We all stood with our sparklers for the Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, as we looked around seeing people adorned in nothing but flags and bodies painted in patriotic colors. The fireworks began with a deafening BANG and lasted for more than 45 minutes. Through the river before us, speed boats raced by shooting fiery lights up into the sky while we listened to music by Aussie natives such as INXS and Kylie belt out the tunes. It sounded like a gigantic tympani drums reverberating through the city of Perth.

My whole body vibrated with each crack and I swear I felt my hair blow back as the sound waves shook my head. The choreography was impeccable and the colors lit up the sky like the Northern Lights. Explosion after explosion, we oohed and ahhed at the starry display. Just when we thought it was all over and believe me we were very contented, behind us more fireworks began shooting off of six of the tallest buildings in the city center!

Now they were happening in front of us, behind us and then we noticed that the bridge was now overflowing with waves of light! Through the sparkling fire waterfall came more speed boats launching even more pyrotechnics completing the visual carnival! Our senses were overloaded as the grande finale accumulated into a magnificent roar of thrilling madness! Happy Australia Day!

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