Well, that’s a first–
Nobody wanted to walk to Liberty Park for the fireworks on Pioneer Day. We went to the parade in the morning and I was fully expecting to go back to the park for fireworks, but E was the only one that wanted to go. DH was at work, Little A was in bed already anyway, and nobody else wanted to walk down. Why?
“Because the FantasyCon fireworks were so much more awesome, Mom!”
True. And apparently they spoiled my children for the less spectacular fireworks we see at Liberty Park every July. And we weren’t even inside Gateway where, I found out later, you could hear the movie music to which the half-hour fireworks were choreographed. Which explains why we heard the Indiana Jones theme playing when we drove through Gateway trying to find a good spot to park and watch.
So . . . FantasyCon. We’d been seeing billboards for it for weeks and C would always comment on them. I finally decided to take a look at their website and see all the Middle Earth actors that were supposedly coming to Salt Lake City. I was really amazed at just what they had planned.
And let me just say that the thought of attending something like FantasyCon or Comic Con would never cross my mind. I read books, and I will go see movies based on books. My fan experience pretty much ends there, and Tolkien is about the only fantasy I can even get into. But then I have these children. They read and reread books. They watch movies. They save up their money for the corresponding Lego sets. They often have a Lord of the Rings Monopoly game in progress downstairs. Yes, we have been sucked in a little too much by the marketing machine! But it’s not just that. They dream up Tolkien or Star Wars character costumes. They go online and play Lego Hobbit games and watch Lego movie clips based on the actual movies. C often draws characters or places from the movies and they often imitate the stories in their play. They have Star Wars cookbooks and Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Hobbit piano music books. The 4-year-old goes around singing movie music all day. (I will admit I do buy quite a few soundtracks to listen to.) They are much more ardent and well-rounded fans than I am! So going to FantasyCon seems very natural to them.
Although actually going didn’t fit into our financial plans this summer, and I couldn’t see myself hanging out there with a baby anyway, but what’s this? A free parade? We can do free. So we went to the free FantasyCon parade through downtown that just happened to be on the 4th of July. Recently I heard someone mention their “non Pinterest-inspired” 4th of July. That describes most of my holidays. In fact, I can’t remember when I last had a “Pinterest-inspired” celebration! Probably never. I will go all out at Christmas if I desire, but for the rest of the year, my holiday plans are as simple (and sometimes unconventional) as possible. So this year for Independence Day we went to the FantasyCon parade and then went home and cleaned out the laundry room for our new washer/dryer.
The parade was cute. And they threw candy which of course the boys loved. About eight actors from The Hobbit were at the front of the parade. I thought the boys would be more excited, but I realized they didn’t know who any of them were out of costume! It was fun to see different groups of local people all dressed up though. The boys especially liked the Star Wars characters (of course) and the awesome Gandalf. C was really wishing he had worn his own Gandalf costume to get in the spirit of things.
Daddy had to work that night and I didn’t know about any good fireworks and didn’t want to venture out on my own with all five children anyway. So we watched National Treasure for movie night and then after I finally got them all to bed, the neighbors started lighting off fireworks in the street. And more were going off after midnight around the neighborhood. Really? You couldn’t set them off earlier? Because now my baby is awake. Again!
I was in a bad mood the next day and then we had to deal with the washer/dryer set we bought not fitting and having to find a new one, as well as more cleaning. I knew FantasyCon was planning a big fireworks show as their finale, but it was Saturday night and I had really wanted to get everyone to bed on time. But as we were all still awake and had just barely finished rewiring the laundry room, I decided to grab the boys and surprise them with fireworks. And apparently it worked; they were thrilled. Mom never takes us out at 9:45 at night for a surprise drive! I only wish we had been able to leave a little earlier and get in to Gateway to hear the music as well as see the show. But the boys have big plans for next year!