A Thrilling Evening In Long Beach When The Skies Above Alamitos Bay Became A Dazzling Palette Of Exploding Rockets In Front Of 30,000 Witnesses Who Savored What Will Become Part Of The City’s Sacred Lore Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.
Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.
|(July 5, 2021) -- It was a night of exquisite joy and glad fraternity among those in the armada of USA flag-bearing vessels of all sizes on Alamitos Bay and among those frenzied souls in the nearby restaurants and homes that joined in the communal revelry of patriotic spirit.
It was a night when the skies above this bacchanalian scene of exultant shrieks and excessive culinary and alcoholic consumption turned into a vast kaleidoscopic palette of exploding rockets and sparklers that turned the ether into a recurring spectacle of pictorial beauty.
It was a night when the darkness of the Great Pandemic was forgotten by those immersed in the brightness of the grand festival unfolding loudly and entertainingly in front of them that for the 20 minutes of this incredible show of pyrotechnic explosions all one heard were the oohs and ahhs of those who witnessed it.
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|It was a night when the political divisiveness that rages was temporarily put on hold and when people who didn't know one another were exchanging jubilant pleasantries and when everyone present had to feel that it was their good fortune to be at this gala of merriment.
Indeed, I've lived in Long Beach almost 50 years and have attended a few events during this time, and don't recall any that exceeded the euphoric feelings I felt last Saturday night amid this well-organized commotion that had to warmly touch those who attended it.
``No doubt this 10th Big Bang On The Bay was the best yet,'' said the creator of it, Mr. John Morris, also operator of the Boathouse on the Bay. ``The fireworks show was absolutely incredible, non-stop action for almost 20 minutes. We had a sellout of 2,500 in and around the restaurant, and everyone joined loudly in the traditional pre-firework countdown. Amazingly, no problems. We raised around $200,000 for charity. We've had other great nights through the years, but this one was extra special.
"Maybe it was just an eruption of happiness from finally being free from the Covid-19 restrictions. Whatever it was, I've never seen so many happy people.
''And what made the evening even more unique was the late afternoon entertainment provided by the four professional para-gliders who zipped above the bay and ocean and the four vintage airplanes that zipped around the skies in the same area. All were greeted by loud shouts of joy from those enjoying themselves on the sand and in their boats and outside their homes.''
Of course, Mr. Morris' long-time antagonist, Ann Cantrell and her Sierra Club cohorts, did manage to irritate Mr. Morris, forcing him in the days leading up to the main proceedings to spend $15,000 hiring an arborist to monitor the bird nests in the trees, a bird biologist to monitor the status of the feathered creatures and a marine biologist to monitor the water.
``The marine biologist went out two days on a boat to check on the water and came back with neutral reports,'' says Mr. Morris. ``And the bird biologist went out on a boat to see if there were any dead birds, but didn't find any.''
And just imagine, if Ms. Cantrell and allies somehow had managed to shut down the Big Bang On The Bay, an estimated 30,000 people would have been denied a pleasurable evening that will never be forgotten by those blessed to have been a part of it.
Of course, John Morris isn't the only one who savored the Saturday night frolic that will become a sacred part of Long Beach lore.
``One of the great nights in this city's history,'' says Big Mike O'Toole, famed for being president-for-life of the Naples Gondola Gateway and the Naples Improvement Association. ``And, remember, I've been born, raised and lived here for the past 61 years. And what I find so incredible that so many came from all over Southern California to be. It just wasn't a Long Beach crowd.''
Mr. O'Toole's had a sold-out evening with 75 reservations---and one of them was held by a young couple from Granada Hills named Misha and Meline Akopyan who came with their two adorable young daughters, Ella and Emily.
The LB Chamber of Commerce president, Jeremy Harris, should enlist the Akopyans to do a TV promotion on the virtues of this city, since both the parents and their children found their first visit such an uplifting experience.
``We like to travel a lot, and just got back from vacationing in Puerto Vallarta---and we have found Long Beach to be much more hospitable and enjoyable,'' said Mr. Akopyan, who owns a successful auto repair business in North Hollywood called No Limit Collision Center ``We knew nothing about this city. My wife was looking on the Internet just the other day of where to go on the July 4th weekend, and she came across a Gondola Getaway ad and so we came here and stayed at the Hyatt Regency.
``We instantly liked Long Beach, and liked it even more when we walked around Belmont Shore and Naples. We were blown away by all the activity and all the fun the people were having and the beauty of the entire area.''
Mr. Akopyan's wife added, ``Long Beach is going to be our new vacation spot. We had more fun here in two days than we did a week in Puerto Vallarta. My dream in life now is to relocate to this area one day.'''
The Akopyans said this before they watched the fireworks show from their gondola.
Afterwards, Mr. Akopyan said, ``It was absolutely amazing! The best fireworks I've ever seen and the atmosphere also was the best I've ever been around. My kids were in awe. But so was my wife. And so was I.''
And so, too, were thousands of others.
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Previously by Mr. Krikorian:
From Ann Cantrell Voicing Disapproval Of Long Beach's Most Popular Summer Event---The Big Bang On The Bay---To John Morris Taking Strong Exception To Ms. Cantrell's Stance To Bad Stu Ledsam's TWO Life-Saving Rescues To Bill (Bozo) Caplan's Zany Antics To The Phoenix Suns' Blessed Fortune To LB's Scary Rising Crime Rate To Those Two Laughable City Hall Figures Tom Modica And Robert Garcia
Krikorian Notes: From No-Bail Insanity To Government Handout Insanity To City Auditor Laura Doud's Exhaustive Investigation Of The Latest Queen Mary Bankruptcy Suitor Urban Commons To K-5 Kids Still Having To Wear Masks And Having Their Temperatures Taken To Novak DJokovic Being The GOAT Of Tennis
Krikorian Notes: From Long Beach East Division Commander Chad Ellis And Naples Crime Buster Katie Rowe Teaming Up At Colonnade Park Gathering To Discuss Canal Congestion And Patio Thievery To My Earning a Five-Cent Film Residual To Earth Man Walking 14,650 Miles To The Belmont Shore Bridge Still Not Fixed To The Yokel LB Politicians Still Drooling Over The Queen Mary To Former LBSU Pitching Star Kevin Lamp Praising The Late John Gonsalves
With Encouragement From Long Beach's Very Own Universal Man, Rick Bryson, Wilson High-LB State Grad Torey Edwards Is On The Threshold Of Qualifying For The U.S. Open, Not Impossible For The Only Amateur Golfer In History To Shoot Two Rounds Of 58
Krikorian Notes Which Long Beach Tourist Attraction, The Queen Mary Or The Aquarium Of The Pacific, Loses The Most Money Annually To Jim Michaelian Excitedly Waxing Poetic About The Return Of The Acura Grand Prix To LB On Sept 24-26 To The Torn Fence Not Being Repaired On The Belmont Shore Bridge To Jim McCormack Going On A 14-Day Golfing Marathon In Oregon With Grandson Garrett To Dede Rossi Attending Seth Greenberg's Daughter Paige's Wedding At the Famous Greenbriar That Cost Ol' Seth $300,000
From Expecting To Spend His Life Working In A Chemical Plant In England, The Boathouse's John Morris Has Come A Long Way From Peddling Women Dresses And Delivering Newspapers, As The Founder Of Legends And The Pioneer Of Pine Ave. Can't Wait For The July 3rd Resumption Of His Big Bang On The Bay Fireworks Show
Sign Of The Times: To Donning A Mask At A Near Empty Blair Field To Keep A High School Baseball Game From Being Halted To The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Still Keeping Elementary Students From Engaging In Playground Activity
The Beloved Sandra Headley, AKA Coachie, Climaxes Her Memorable 39-Year Tenure At Naples Elementary School With A Most Unusual Task
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia Takes A Victory Lap For His City Hosting The Undocumented Migrants, But The Estimated $35 Million Cost To Taxpayers Has His Critics In An Uproar, Including One, The Famed Bodyguard Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo, Who Calls Mr. Garcia The Teflon Don Of LB
Tommy O'Toole's Magical 12-Hour Day That Might Well Land Him In The Guinness Book Of World Records And, Who Knows, The Zany LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Might Be Destined To Wind Up In It, Too
Why Don't Mayor Robert Garcia And His Marionette, City Manager Tom Modica, Come Out And Tell The Truth About How Long Beach Became A Lodging Sanctuary For More Than 1,000 Undocumented Kids?
Why Have ALL The Long Beach Leaders Been So Silent On The Feds Placing A Contingent Of Undocumented Kids In Downtown LB?
A Talk With Jerry West And An Emotional Remembrance For Me Of Still Another Friend, Elgin Baylor, Who Is Gone
Frankly, I'm Surprised Long Beach Chief Of Police Robert Luna Didn't Think A Contingent Of Extraterrestrials From Another Galaxy Was Responsible For The LB Crime Wave
The Creator Of Two Iconic Long Beach Dining Establishments, Schooner Or Later and Tantalum, LB Bachelor Denny Lund Also Has Been A Creator Of Glad Times
Krikorian Notes: From Cal Gov Gavin Newsom Keeping Long Beach Restaurant Diners Outdoors For No Plausible Reason To His Equally Despised Michigan Counterpart, Gretchen Whitmer, Actually Allowing Indoor Dining In Her State To Cock Of The Walk John Morris Speechless (!) To Dickie (Too Fast, Too Furious) Babian Turning Crow's Over To His Son To My New 7-1, 354 Bodyguard Aaron Gray Taking Over From The Undersized 6-0, 225 Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo
Krikorian Notes: From Gavin Newsom Praising Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia As Though He's Destined For Mt. Rushmore To Newsom Hoping The Rest Of California Follows The Jill Baker LBUSD Path (???) To The Tiger Woods Car Accident To Bad Stu Ledsam's Son Kyle's Big Award To Vons Pavilion GM Steve Carr Performing Cashiering Duty To My Watching the Amazing Emerzian Twins Next Week In Michigan
Krikorian Notes: From A Most Surreal Development That Has Me In A State Of Giddiness---Our Beloved Long Beach Actually Now Serious About Building A New Swimming Pool After Coastal Commission Approval And Strong Endorsements From Such Local Leaders As Mayor Robert Garcia and City Manager Tom Modica and Their Political Accomplices To Mike O'Toole Doing a Solo, He-Man Rowing Act On A 32-Foot Gondola Carolina Filled With 14 People Around Naples Canals To Jill Baker’s Typical Back-to-School Delaying Tactics To My Receiving My Periodic SAG-AFTRA Residuals From My Once Flourishing Acting Career That, Sadly, Went The Way Of My Once Flourishing Radio Career
Long-Time Belmont Shore Resident Dorcas Baldwin, 85, Endures Frightening Experience Of Homeless Man Breaking Into Her Bay Shore Avenue Home And Taking A Shower Before Long Beach Cops Come To The Rescue
CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod Hoping Gavin Newsom And His Health Department Toadies Come To Their Senses For Projected High School Sports Restart On March 19
Terry Antonelli Orchestrating Rise Of L’Opera After Its Tragic Fall In The Great Long Beach Memorial Day Pillage & Plunder Festival
Krikorian Notes: From Mayor Garcia's Spineless Speech To Jill Baker's Passing The Buck Alliance With Gavin Newsom To A Positive Long Beach Vaccination Experience To Welcoming New Neighbor George Gascon To Mike The Hammer Bludgeoning Me About Boxing To The Amazing Tom Brady
The Memorable Life Of Tommy Lasorda: From World Series Titles To Slim-Fast Diets To Obscenity-Laced Jim Healy Tapes To Pitching To Jack Clark To A Sacred Legacy Of Laughter And Success On The Ball Yards Of America
"A Lady Shrieking "Wear A Mask!" On Bay Shore Ave. Results In A Mask-Wearing Epiphany For Our Columnist
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances
A Christmas Tale Of Reflections And Remembrances" Krikorian Notes: From New LA County DA George Gascon Moving To Naples To LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Continuing To Stunt Growth Of 70,000 Students To Distress Of Locked Down LB Entrepreneurs Jeff Cozart, Mike Neufeld, John Sangmeister To LB’s Very Own Kato Kaelin, Steve Folger, Squiring Kelly Clarkson In Nashville
Krikorian Notes: From Joe Jost Owner Ken Buck Sounding Off On The Lockdowns To Big Ben Goldberg's Boat Parade Party In Huntington Harbor To Bob Ludlam Departing LB For Prescott -- The Leisure World of Arizona -- To LB State President Jane Close Conoley Not Faintly Resembling Her Esteemed Predecessors To Mike (The Hammer) DiMarzo Invading Miami For Nightclub Frolic To LB State Women's Soccer Coach Mauricio Ingrassia Suddenly Looking Like A Matinee Idol
When Is LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker Going To End Her Calamitous Lockdown That Has Caused So Much Chaos And Heartache And Disruption Among 70,000 Students?
Krikorian Notes: From Councilman Rex Richardson Displaying Courage To Show Up At A Long Beach Restaurant Association Meeting To The Countless Millions Lost On Unoccupied LB Buses To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy’s Latest Mean-Spirited Edict To the Irritating Silence Of LB City Manager Tom Modica To LB Mayor Robert Garcia Ignoring His Constituents For Political Reasons To Bob The Black Labrador Parading Down The Peninsula Boardwalk Holding A Large Palm Limb In His Mouth
How Many Long Beach Restaurants Will Be Forced to Close After Latest Lockdown Lunacy?
Where's Krikorian? Temporarily On "Injured Reserve List" Recovering From Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Krikorian Notes: From Nico's George Mlouk Praising LB Mayor Robert Garcia For Working To Help LB Restaurateurs To A Plea To LB Health Czar Kelly Colopy To Restrain Her Overzealous Sleuths To Lakers Deserving NBA Title To LeBron James Turning Anthony Davis Into Passionate Competitor To Vital Contributions Of Lakers Coach Frank Vogel And GM Rob Pelinka To Sadness Of Passing Of The Great Joe Morgan And Its Impact On Maury Wills' Hall Of Fame Chances
Famous Long Beach Restaurateur Phil Trani Days Of Joyful Memories And Pandemic Miseries
Krikorian Notes: From The Irritating Silence Of The Long Beach Politicians In Not Supporting Their Citizens To The Whereabouts Of LB Mayor Robert Garcia To The Whistles Favoring The Lakers Against The Nuggets To The Greatness of Patrick Mahomes To The End Of A European Vacation Streak That Started In 1989
LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker’s 70,000 Student Online Virtual Teaching Miscalculation A Disaster!
Krikorian Notes: From The 9 Unworthies Of The LB City Council To The LB Upstick In Shootings And Speeding To Restauranteur John Morris Horseback Riding On A Wyoming Mountaintop To The Walking Adventures Of Earth Man
Jeff Cozart's Time Of Torment: Will His Belmont Athletic Club Survive Gavin Newsom’s Latest Lockdown?
Krikorian Notes: A Labor Day Elegy For Those In The Long Beach Business Community Who Were Violated In The Memorial Day Looting Frenzy To The Palm Tree Limbs Littering 2nd Street To The Scooters Littering The Belmont Shore Bridge To The Virtual On-Line Spectacle At Big Mike O'Toole's Household
Krikorian Notes: From Long Beach Mayor's Ascent To Dem Stardom Because Of Lockstep Embrace Of The Party's Policies To The Enchanting Parklet Dining On 2nd Street To Tearing Down The Hoops in Belmont Shore To Greg Silver's LB Departure To Huntington Beach To Bob Rice Protecting Me From Isiah Robertson
Don Kramer Was A Character Like No Other With His Zaniness, Goofiness, Joyfulness, Kindliness Who Left All Who Knew Him With Lasting Memories Of Slapstick Antics And Mirthful Anecdotes
Krikorian Notes: From Majority Of LB Teachers Skipping Classrooms For The Comforts Of Home To Dr. Jill Baker Becoming Another Maria Montessori To Terry Antonelli Discussing Resurrection of L'Opera To Mayor Robert Garcia Touted By MSNBC's Brian Williams As A Future U.S. Senator To Kershaw's Magical Transformation
Long Beach's Renaissance Man, Chuckie Miller, Reflects On His Entrepreneurial Life And On Racial Inequity
Krikorian Notes: From LB's Elected Leadership's Reimagining Delusions To the Gaslamp's Outdoor Wall Video Band Show To The Ghastly USC Coach, Clay Helton
FDR's Grandson, Delano Roosevelt, Talks Democratic Party, JetBlue, Long Beach And His Life
LBPD Chief Robert Luna: Stand Up For Your Fifty Ousted Cops!
What Next From Long Beach Health Boss Kelly Colopy, Hazmat Suits For Our Restaurant Servers?
Sadly, Our National Pastime No Longer A Pastime For Me
Parklets! Three Cheers For Long Beach Politicians!
Memo To LBUSD Sup Jill Baker: Return The Kids To the Classroom!
Long Beach Politicians Once Again Fail Long Beach
Is Long Beach Destined to Become the City That Never Sleeps?
I Never Thought I'd Live To See These...
Ben Goldberg Exits Long Beach, Now Nearby Refugee In OC
Long Time Long Beach Resident Dave Lopez Climaxes Storied 48-Year TV Career
From Krikorian's Notebook: When Will LB Police Chief Luna Come Clean About May 31 Downtown Long Beach Looting Frenzy?
From Krikorian's Notebook: (1) LBUSD Mgm't Mulls Keeping K-5 Kids Indoors Without Normal Access To Playground, Cafeteria, Auditorium Activities; (2) And More...
Will LB's New School Sup't Allocate Untimely Pay Raise To Serve Students?
Awaiting Governor's Dictate To Decide Fate Of This Year's (July 3) "Big Bang On the Bay"
Mayor/Council Sounds Of Silence After LB Cops Let Some Pillage Our Village
Excuses By Long Beach Police & Politicians Dishearten Damaged LB Businesses
Hallelujah! LB Mayor Pleads For Sac'to Permission To Lift Closures That Needn't Have Occurred
Speak Up, Mr. Mayor, On Governor's Unwise Edicts. You Can Do That And You Should
My Beloved Long Beach: A Victim Of Irrational Government Overreach Beyond Reasoned Response To Virus
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