KISSIMMEE, Fla. - If you've never seen it, the nightly fireworks show at Disney's Epcot is something to behold.
It starts every night at 9 p.m. around the circular lake in the middle of the complex. At first, there are simply some nice rockets and such, but soon a giant globe emerges from over the land and starts moving out into the lake. It spins around in a slow circle with the outline of the world's land masses on it like a normal globe, but the fun part is they display movies on the continents. You see pictures of dogsleds, the legendary cave paintings of Spain, hot air balloons, the CN Tower (we thought), the Sphinx, the Queen, Babe Ruth, John F. Kennedy (it felt like watching the cover of Sgt. Pepper for a minute or so) and other famous figures and places as the globe spins slowly in glorious colour.
The buildings around the lake that are meant to mimic such sights as St. Mark's and the Eiffel Tower are nicely lit, and then comes a huge array of fireworks. They also send huge, billowing balls of gas flaming out into the lake, as if someone had dropped a bomb onto an oil tanker. It's not even remotely eco-friendly, but it's kind of awesome to see the flames and feel the heat as it leaps across the water.
Of course, this being Disney they have to ruin it by playing a sappy "We-Are-the-World-why-can't-we-all-just-get-along-let's-all-join-hands-and-live-in-peace" song at the end.
Still, it's pretty cool.
SOUTH SIDE STORY
I'm attending a meeting of a dozen U.S. states from the south to try to learn a little more about their tourist destinations and all. They had some pretty solid entertainment on day one, including a medley of songs honoring all 12 states with music. For all your music fans out there, here's the list:
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Georgia on My Mind
- Country Roads (the John Denver song about West Virginia)
- Kentucky Woman
- Louisiana Man
- Oh, Virginia
- Suwanee River (Florida)
- Arkansas, Land of Opportunity (don't quote us on that one; we'd never heard it before)
- Carolina Girls (for North and South Carolina)
- The Tennessee Waltz
- Mississippi Queen
KINDA LIKE THE FIFTH MAJOR
The folks who run the annual Players Championship golf tourney like to call it the "fifth major" on the golf schedule, the real four major tournaments being the British Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA championship and the Masters, which starts play Thursday, April 9.
They're not calling it the sixth great lake or anything, but just as the Players feels it belongs with the big boys, so do folks who live around Lake St. Clair feel they deserve a little more credit.
A news item came over the wire the other day explaining that folks feel the charms of the lake, which connects Lake Huron to the Detroit River and Lake Erie, aren't appreciated because it's big brothers are so much larger.
Tourism officials in Michigan are launching a PR campaign to try to get more attention.
“Arguably, in southeast Michigan, Lake St. Clair is the biggest economic asset. And none of us — no one in the business community is doing a very good job of promoting it,” said Eric Foster, general partner of Belle Maer Harbor in Harrison Township.
The 42-kilometre by 39-kilometre lake northeast of Detroit and Windsor has about 1,114 square kilometres of surface area. Plans call for publicizing the lake’s activities beyond the better-known boating, fishing and swimming. A website and other publicity this summer will spotlight nature reserves, bike trails, kayaking, waterfront dining and night life.
Organizers say many county residents don’t realize Lake St. Clair offers some of the best muskie and smallmouth bass fishing in the world.