In with a (very loud) bang: Photo essay of Yantai International Wine Exposition opening in China

By Jim Boyce

The opening of the Yantai International Wine Exposition started off as a brain-numbing exercise that involved the introduction of dozens of dignitaries and the giving of numerous speeches under a blazing sun to a crowd that simply wanted to be inside. It went on and on and on, for about an hour, and I pitied the poor people stuck on stage in suits.

Then, just as I almost fell asleep standing up, someone announced that the exposition was open. All heck broke loose.

Loud booms ripped the air and massive clouds of pink and white smoke rose as though a Hello Kitty aerial squad has just bombed the site. Dozens of cannons blasted millions of bits of shiny paper into the sky and gave us an idea of life inside a shaken snow globe. A half-dozen banners with bold proclamations — including that Yantai has been designated as a “civilized” city — wheeled across the sky on wires. And three musicals acts leaped into action, including one that featured some 60 ballroom dancers in black tie or ballgowns.

I went from bored senseless to scared shitless in less than one second. OK, I am exaggerating, but what a sudden shift in intensity. To be honest, it was quite impressive.

And here it is again, in photos…

Dignitaries are sweating in suits somewhere back there. We are praying the introductions and speeches will soon end.

Then, several booms followed by billowing pink and white clouds.

As cannons blasted millions of paper paper skyward.

And banners whipped along wires and into place.

And dancers performed with wine glasses.

Or did some kind of hip hop thing.

And bird things did, well, bird things things.

A lot going on in a very short time. But it did get our attention. And with that, the Sixth Yantai International Wine Exposition opened:

I’ll have more on the exposition and on the Colombin International Wine Competition soon.

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