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Skyliner

Red, White, Blue, & Green!

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Since there have been so many great festivities to enjoy in Greenville on the fourth of July, I thought it would be a nice idea to dedicate a discussion thread to that topic. Go ahead and tell everyone about your day and whether it was better than any other July 4th or not. Did you take it easy? Play with the kids? Go on a hike? Visit family and friends? Go shopping? Enjoy one of the many festivals in town? Spill the beans! Let's have fun with this discussion. :thumbsup:

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We typically go to the Fourth at Furman; however, this year, we decided to go to the BellSouth Red, White, and Blue Festival in Beautiful Downtown Greenville, South Carolina, USA.

It was great! Although we didn't go see the Greenville Symphony Orchestra play, we did enjoy the festival, the fireworks, and the company of newly-made friends.

Here are some photos:

The crowd along South Main Street:

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Early Arrivals take time to frolic in the Reedy River above the Upper Falls:

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The frolic from another angle:

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The Wyche Pavilion all dudded up:

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RiverPlace Balconies dressed in Red, White, and Blue:

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The Greenville Symphony Orchestra prepares to perform:

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Festivalgoers prepare to Listen:

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Meanwhile, back along the Reedy River near the Falls, Festivalgoers get ready for fireworks:

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And at 9:45pm ET, they begin:

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And at just after 10:00pm ET, they ended:

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Looks like you were there quite early. The crowds became very dense later in the evening. Virtually every inch was covered around the amphitheatre and every spot visible to the stage was taken, no joke! I thought I'd be smart and save spots an hour before the 8pm concert, but when I showed up at 7pm, every spot was taken save a couple small grassy areas in the front. The concert was outstanding to say the least. Even though most of the regular Greenville Symphony Orchestra members weren't actually in attendance, the performance was wonderful and perfect for the occasion. The crown was awesome as well! Cheers of praise went up after every piece, and our great conductor in turn praised Greenville as the perfect place to be. :wub:

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Yes, we were there by 6pm. By the time the fireworks were going off, every inch of both banks of the Reedy was covered. People were camped out on the sidewalks, the Bowater Parking Garage, and both standing and sitting (yes, sitting...in chairs) all across the Liberty Bridge. My wife took a jaunt to the restroom at Falls Place and to Starbucks and the lines were 30+ minutes at each. Afterwards, we sat for an additional 45 minutes to let the Bowater Garage empty out before we packed up and headed to the car to go home ourselves. We could hear the performance of the GSO at times, too, but I'm certain it wasn't nearly as good as sitting there.

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I took a much different approach to the fireworks.

This admittedly unspectacular shot simply captures the view I had of the same fireworks display. It was at the McBee Station construction site, so the view was wide open, there were no crowds, and I had the Port-a-Potty all to myself with no waiting in line like the people downtown. I had scouted this site out ahead of time, did the party thing downtown, and then repaired to the position I had staked out -- which had an added benefit of being next to my car, allowing me to get onto the highway to home in about 40 seconds after the finale.

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You were the most wise of all, I assure you. :lol: We drove through there an hour or so later, being herded like cattle with the rest of the departing traffic. :whistling: It wasn't until then that I realized the great vantage point. I was so hoping to get a spectacular shot with the Liberty Bridge and Fireworks, but the bridge just didn't show up all that well in mine. :(

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You were the most wise of all, I assure you. :lol: We drove through there an hour or so later, being herded like cattle with the rest of the departing traffic. :whistling: It wasn't until then that I realized the great vantage point. I was so hoping to get a spectacular shot with the Liberty Bridge and Fireworks, but the bridge just didn't show up all that well in mine. :(

It's not a matter of wiser -- it's more a matter of how anti-social I am, I think. I'm not sure that an Independence Day festival is best spent consuming malt beverages, listening to a live a band and then heading off in isolation to a remote location to observe fireworks totally disconnected from your fellow Americans. You had a view with the bridge in the foreground. I had the Harper Construction trailer. You took your time, weren't rushed and interacted; I had a schedule to keep, a position to reclaim and disengaged. You probably work -- and move around -- to find a good picture or just the right angle. I'll settle for whatever image comes to me within a 15 foot radius of me or my vehicle. Yes, it was a decent location and had some tactical advantages -- but it wasn't as rich an experience as the one you had and shared with your family. So I'm both proud and ashamed of the approach I took. So, let's just leave it as I first put it...it was a different approach from yours. (Ah, the philosophy of fireworks watching....)

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I watch the fire works from the behind the peace center, haveing watch the orchestra perform. I wish I had my camera, becuase the shots would have been great. It looked awsome bursting over the pavillian and Riverplace.

I didn't even try to fight the traffic. After the display off to Chicora Alley I went.

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Those pics of the fireworks look really good! But I must say that I was disappointed in them this year. Gville has had some really good FW shows in the past, but I thought they were quite drab this year. They did n ot seem to be timed very well as ther were several pauses. Overall they only lasted 15 minutes (I have seen nearly 30 minute shows inGville before). Now before anyone writes back saying that overall length has nothing to do with the quality of a FW show, let me defend myself. :D When that many people spend that much time waiting for a show, they expect a little more than 15 minutes, especially if that time appears disorganized. I think 20-25 minutes is good. long enough for people to have their fill, but not long enough to get bored. The G-Finale was pretty cool, but even that was a little weak. I just got the impression that people around me were not particularly impressed, and there was suprise at how quick the show was, many people seemed to be waiting around almost as if they thought more were coming. Thoughts?

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My thoughts: The pauses and seeming disorganization may not have made sense to me on the banks of the Reedy just above the falls (or to you, depending on where you were), but I'm sure it made sense to those people at the Dow Amphitheatre as the fireworks show was no doubt choreographed to the music being played by the GSO, no?

I agree, they were a bit short, but my expectations going in were that they'd only be lasting from 9:45 - 10:00pm, so it didn't bother me any. People broke camp all around us and headed for their cars immediately after the finale. We decided to camp out a while longer because it was obvious to me, upon carrying some things to the Bowater Garage to my car, that we were not going anywhere anytime soon.

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Ahh, that would explain the gaps, I was not anywhere near the music, so I did not know it was still playing during the FWs. Apparently neither did other people around me.

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Ahh, that would explain the gaps, I was not anywhere near the music, so I did not know it was still playing during the FWs. Apparently neither did other people around me.
Believe it or not, I could hear faint orchestra music from the McBee Station location. During one of the pauses I tried to listen for it and couldnt...and thats when the lightbulb went off and I realized the pauses werent screw-ups...

And for some reason my apostrophe key died in the middle of typing this!

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Those are some great shots RT! Mrs. NYT is impressed as well. She saw your photos on the WYFF web site and really liked them. She also commented on how that little camera of yours does such a great job. I had to tell her you bought the Canon. She thought you were still using the Olympus you had at the ballpark tour. :D

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Thanks, NYT (and my thanks to Mrs. NYT as well)! These really didn't turn out as well as I had hoped even though I did get that streaking effect I wanted.

That little Olympus did a great job, indeed, but it belongs to Mrs. RT now.

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Here is the view from our spot of grass at the Peace Center Amphitheatre in downtown Greenville. I had a hard time hearing after the concert was over. :lol:

Internationally acclaimed conductor Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel leads the GSO in its only rehearsal for the concert - less than an hour before it was to start! Keep in mind that there were probably less than half of the regular members playing and a bunch of extras filling in for this concert, so it came off very well considering no prior rehearsal.

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Maestro Tchivzhel leads the audience in singing our National Anthem.

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Later during the concert, the lights created quite an awesome effect on the performers.

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BTW, did I mention how loud it was? :shok:

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Thanks, NYT! :blush: I really appreciate your regular contributions as well. :D

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GSO_4July2006_01c.jpg

This is one extremely sweeeeeeet photo, Skyliner! :wub: If this were a postcard in the Mast General Store, I'd buy enough of them to send to all of my friends and family. :shades:

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This is one extremely sweeeeeeet photo, Skyliner! :wub: If this were a postcard in the Mast General Store, I'd buy enough of them to send to all of my friends and family. :shades:

RT, that's not a bad idea. Maybe we should start an Urban Planet postcard collection and distribute them locally. :thumbsup:

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