Wednesday, July 4, 2012 | 11:30 p.m.
For nine minutes all eyes looked toward the dark night sky at the Green Valley Ranch resort on the Fourth of July.
Children, who moments ago had been playing with sparklers and running in circles, became mesmerized. Couples young and old held each other in their arms and teenagers stopped texting. The fireworks show put on by Station Casinos had started.
People parked atop the casino parking garage on Paseo Verde Parkway with their coolers, lawn chairs and picnic blankets then gasped a synchronized “Oooh.” Clad in patriotic colors and T-shirts with flags, they watched as loud bangs, snaps and pops erupted into embers of all colors. Some brightened the entire sky before fading into a glittery umbrella, while others were flashlight-bright before puffing into a cloud of smoke.
“It looks like it’s coming right at me,” said 6-year-old Dominic Coudin as a burst of purple and green lit up the sky.
Hundreds of friends and families gathered atop the oil- and gas-stained garage in the comfortable 80-degree weather to witness the display and celebrate the Fourth. Some came in large families, others with kids in strollers and others just as couples. For most, watching the fireworks will be their main celebration of America’s freedom.
James Brecheisen, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, and his wife, Barbara, however, have spent the day jetting around to various Fourth of July activities. They went to Summerlin for a parade, Boulder City for a jamboree and now, plan to top it off with fireworks.
“It’s exciting to see the fireworks go up and it’s just fun to be around people and hear the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs,”’ said James Brecheisen, who sported a polo colored like the American flag.
“We’ve seen fireworks at Mount Rushmore, Washington, D.C., we’ve seen the best,” Barbara Brecheisen said. “(Las Vegas shows) are right up there.”
Michael Pionke has been coming to the Green Valley Ranch resort show with his wife, two kids, brother and sister-in-law for the past four years. It has become a family tradition. This year they brought a cooler full of water, soda and cookies to munch on leading up to the show.
His son Merick Pionke, who is 6 years old, couldn’t wait for the finale.
“I like when they all come out at once,” Merick said. “It’s really fun because when you have to wait and wait (at the start), it’s boring.”
The display, which was synchronized to the music from KCYE 102.7-FM, did not disappoint those in attendance. Spectators were treated to a steady stream of fireworks with hardly a lull or repetition. The ear-deafening finale was greeted with loud applause and whistles from children and adults.
Coudin, who came with his father Olivier Coudin, said it was the “best show ever,” after the finale. While Shirley Brown, who just moved to Las Vegas from California last year, said the show was fabulous.
Young or old, the spontaneity and excitement of fireworks mesmerized all.
“It was great. I’m like a kid when it comes to fireworks,” Brown said. “It was fabulous, unique. I was ‘Oohing’ and ‘Awwwing’ like a 2 year-old … It was very well done, I’ll be back again.”