For most people, New Year's Eve means watching the ball drop in Times Square. It means celebrating the New Year with friends and family. Countdown parties, clocks, confetti... passing out before the clock strikes midnight because you drank too much. But there's one more thing, and it's something we usually only see one other time each year— fireworks.
Aside from the 4th of July, New Year's Eve is your second best option for seeing spectacular fireworks in the night sky. Everyone loves them. If you say you don't— you're lying. Just admit it— you love the colors in the sky, the bangs that make your heart jump, and the smell of spent pyrotechnics. Who wouldn't. I particularly like the smell.
But depending on where you are and what your plans are for this New Year's Eve party, you may not be able to enjoy those New Year's Eve fireworks. That's why you should check out this guide to New Year fireworks.
Step 1 Watch the Ball Drop in One Times Square
If you live, or just happen to be, in New York City, it's a must that you visit Times Square on Broadway and 42nd to enjoy the Times Square Ball Drop. The celebration begins early, with the finale starting at 11:59:00 PM, when the Waterford Crystal ball drops, counting down the last 60 seconds of 2010. And guess what? There will be fireworks (otherwise this wouldn't be listed).
You can get a schedule for the events, some history and some tips about enjoying North America's most recognize New Year's celebration event at the official Times Square New Year's Eve Website.
If you're not in New York City, then you can still enjoy the fireworks, right from inside your television. Stations like NBC and ABC will be broadcasting the events live, so you don't even have to get off the couch. Learn more about tuning in at NBC and ABC.
Also, there's a nifty iPhone app (see Step #3 below).
Step 2 Enjoy Local Fireworks
New York City isn't the only one celebrating the coming New Year on December 31st, 2010. Every city in the U.S. is likely holding their own New Year's Eve event, complete with powerful fireworks.
Simply check out your local newspapers (paper or web versions), which will surely list details about events in your area. You can also do a Google Search, like any web addict would. Also, for convenience sake, here's a few links to popular cities with information about New Year's Eve events, where you can enjoy the fireworks display.
- Los Angeles County, CA
- Baltimore, MD
- Philadelphia, PA
- Las Vegas, NV
- San Francisco, CA
- Miami, FL
- Chicago, IL
- Boston, MA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Seattle, WA
Step 3 Enjoy Fireworks from Any City with Your Phone
Yes, you don't need to go anywhere to experience some awesome fireworks— you can simply enjoy them from your handheld device, i.e. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphone, etc. Here are some mobile apps you should check out:
- Kid Fireworks (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)
- iLoveFireworks (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)
- Happy New Year (theme for Blackberry devices)
- Fireworks (for Android devices)
- Times Square Official New Year's Eve Ball App - 2011 (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)
- Astraware Fireworks (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad)
Step 4 Make Some Homemade Fireworks!
Don't let anyone control your fireworks— become your own pyrotechnist with these videos. Firstly, steel wool and a battery is enough to satisfy most of us, not to mention the cheapest route. Learn how to make some steel wool fireworks below!
The next video is just the beginning stages, but just imagine what fireworks you could make with this black powder! Just be careful.
This next one is more for you folks who can actually get your hands on real fireworks. If you are one of those folks, then this video series should help you with shooting fireworks safely. Though, if you don't have a license, be prepared for a lengthy FBI background check, unless you're dealing with Class C fireworks, which you probably are. They're commonly referred to as backyard fireworks, and what most of you will be shooting on December 31st.
* Make sure to click the video link below the video to see all 17 parts.
Step 5 Taking Professional Fireworks Pictures
Now that you know how to view the New Year's fireworks, know how to capture them for a lifetime, with these photography tips for taking photos of fast moving fireworks.
There, you'll learn the following 10 tips to taking great fireworks pics.
- Use a Tripod
- Remote Release
- Framing Your Shot
- Focal Length
- Shutter Speed
- Switch Off Your Flash
- Shoot in Manual Mode
- Experiment and Track Results
For more ideas, check out the other fireworks tutorials on WonderHowTo.