Tuesday morning, I treated myself to breakfast at the minuscule Suzie Q Cafe in downtown Mason City. I had a delicious everything breakfast hash (the cook had pity on me and added jalapenos instead of bell peppers) and enjoyed rubbing elbows with the locals while I swilled cafe coffee.
I had a fun seminar lined up for the afternoon - a parlor trick the instructors refer to as an edible cake mine. A mine is a pyro effect that shoots skywards from the ground (rather than lifting off to explode in the sky) . Our instructors brought supplies and showed us how to set up a table top effect that could be used to add decorations to a cake. One of my classmates offered to take my picture as I pulled the trigger on my cake. Check out how she caught the sprinkles mid air!
A few of the sprinkles managed to land on the cake, but even more fell into my hair, in my bra and on the ground. It was way fun, though! Plus we got to eat our project and it was chocolate!.
Later that afternoon I went to a seminar on making a type of firework called a lampare, something I've been extremely interested in learning more about. A lampare is a shell that is lifted into the air on top of a rocket, and then when the fuse connects internally with the head (which is a container of liquid fuel) it creates a giant fire ball way high up in the sky. Where you can't conceive of there being a fireball, actually. They're very cool. Here's the fuse and powder setup needed to make the thing go off in mid-air.
We took our lampares out to the shooting range, and filled the reservoirs with gasoline just before we sent them flying high in the air with a little bit of black powder to lift it. They made a loud bang when they went off and a fireball that looked to be about the size of a large exercise ball.
Later that night was the second big display show and I arrived early to scout out a good place to sit so I could snap lots of photos. Here are my picks for Tuesday night: