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This wooden fish was created for a salmon celebration last fall with the idea that it would be burned at the end of the event. Folks would write wishes and send them into the flames with the fish. For various reasons, the fish was not burned so it has spent the last few months gracing the drive where its artist lives. In the rain and snow and intense sunshine, and most recently decorated with a Santa hat, it awaited its fate.

The artist and another friend delivered it to our house yesterday. Ken assisted the artist as the bonfire was assembled in the fish and around it in the cold daylight. I went skiing. Bought groceries. Ken went for beer. I made some turkey noodle soup.

Friends began to arrive by car and on foot around six. Lots of finger food was shared. Champagne. A campfire was started. Small fireworks were lit with the occasional BIG boom reverberating over the valley floor. Dogs, our three and three or four more, were kept inside with music to mask the noise. There was eggnog made from scratch. Deep, dark, moist gingerbread that matched very well with stout from the local Pub.

10:00 was the appointed hour. Not midnight. Somewhere during the evening someone stuffed the fish with sparklers and other small fireworks.

 At 10:00 pm, New Years Eve 2011, the fish was lit using only a simple lighter. No gas. It started slowly and soon there were fireworks illuminating the scene in neon colors. Eventually the entire fish was engulfed and then the tail and adipose fin disapeared. As the structure began to collapse into its own embers, the spawning fish dance began. It didn’t last long.

And then there was just another campfire and folks began to go inside for more food and eggnog and live music til midnight when the big fireworks were lit!

As one person is quoted as saying, ‘It was an innocent gathering of friends’.














Getting a light for some more fireworks


The spawn til ya die dance




Happy New Year! Here’s to 2012!


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