San Francisco Firework Shows Are Basically in the Upside Down

Karl The Fog’s seasonal density tends to cool our summers and cloud our views — especially during firework shows.

Let’s get this out of the way first: We really — like, really — don’t like the idea of throwing fireworks shows in San Francisco amid the current climate crisis. They’re polluting; they’re dangerous to native fauna; they’re traumatizing; they’re hella expensive and cost the City millions a year to produce.

On top of all this, it’s rare we can even see them. Why? Fog. Lots and lots of fog.

San Francisco’s personified atmospheric anomalies are present most evenings and early mornings, depending on temperature conditions. Reliably, SF fog is thickest between June and August, hence why “Fogust” is part of the local vernacular.

It means we get incredibly temperate summers that require light outerwear; sweating is something of an albatross during this time, too. But what it also means is that firework shows in SF are shrouded in haze.

(Far too many times have I seen the pyrotechnics off Pier 39 or watched an IRL live stream of them to see the fireworks ascend through a thick, wet haze. When they do erupt — the sulfur trail they leave behind refracted by the bay waters below — we bystanders are treated to what appears like illuminated clouds. It’s all a bit anticlimactic.)

These displays of excited gunfire don’t look like postcards of Independence Day; they more so resemble the Upside Down in Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Everything about how they appear is warped — twisted, put on its head, pulled toward a sense of tangible delusion — much like how the aforenoted alternate dimension exists in parallel to the human world.

Tbh, the fog’s blurring effect makes fireworks in San Francisco both awe-inspiring and dystopian.

So, yes: We should outright ban fireworks shows in SF… and maybe replace them with laser and drone displays. The planet needs this vibe shift. But when that does hopefully happen, we’ll miss SF’s hella trippy pyrotechnic displays.

And here are our favorite snaps that highlight SF’s firework shows from this year’s 4th of July shows.

Feature image: Courtesy of Twitter via [at]tommysearle

Leave a Reply