Posted by: COSI | July 16, 2008

Always Experimenting: Fireworks @COSI

My wife, Dottie, loves fireworks and parades-it goes back to her childhood and many fond memories she has of marching in parades on July 4. So when we moved to Columbus she was excited at the possibility of us getting front row seats from COSI for Columbus’ Red, White, and Boom. Only then did I find out that COSI has always been shut down for two days because the fireworks are right on our front plaza and we’re in the drop zone.

So the first year we watched from high up across the river, marveling at the fireworks until I started to notice our wonderful city firemen on the COSI roof hosing down hot embers dropping on the building. (Don’t ask me why you’d spend millions on a new science center and then drop hot fireworks on top of it every year!). So I couldn’t focus on the fireworks for the rest of the fireworks display, just the firemen and their hoses on our roof (thank goodness they were there!).

People must have heard the cheer from my office when I found out the fireworks were temporarily moved upstream to the Vets Memorial property and COSI was actually out of the “drop zone.” This gave us our first chance since opening to experiment with hosting special events at COSI and test the view and the experience.

A corporate party and COSI team member special event tested the evening and the viewing. I can tell you the COSI lawn (from both front and back) were great viewing spots. A little video I took on my cell phone is attached which very modestly gives an idea of how good the view was – but misses the physical energy of the explosions you felt at actually being still close to the power of the fireworks. (Our COSI team members do a nice job of explaining explosions in our Science of Fireworks show at COSI try to catch one next time you come.)

I think we’ve got a winner here for Red, White, and Boom events/viewing as long as the fireworks can stay relocated, giving folks a great way to spend the evening at COSI with prime viewing spots once the festivities begin! I know our events department is already taking calls for next year-so maybe I’ll see you here 🙂



  1. The new placement of the fireworks this year was great. It felt like a much “newer” event.

    Glad you guys got to have such a great experience as well.

  2. Would love to hear if others liked the new location–we’d like to see if the relocated fireworks could stay where they are.

  3. Very cool video – it did a nice job from a phone. Seems to make sense for COSI to be open on the 3rd if we aren’t the drop zone and make it a fun and special day.

  4. I am a member of the Friends of COSI and co-chair of the Visitor Committee. I and a couple of FOC peers were discussing the idea where WE would host an event for Red, White, and Boom at COSI. The theme of course would be “Boom@COSI”.

    My family and I really liked the new location of the fireworks. The crowds were more spread out and it did not seem like everyone had to “fight” for the perfect spot.

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