George Knapp's Street Talk
Led by Award-winning investigative reporter George Knapp, the Eyewitness News I-TEAM is the top television investigative unit in southern Nevada. Political expert Jon Ralston provides insight into local and state government, and former Mayor Jan Jones adds an insider's viewer of City Hall. I-TEAM photographer Eric Sorenson rounds out this first-class investigative unit.
Las Vegas has seen its share of strange weddings, but a ceremony held recently in a secret desert location just outside of town must take some sort of prize. The wedding not only featured the usual moments of love and bliss, but also incorporated that timeless, age-old instinct --the desire to blow things up.
The periodic events known as desert blast have assumed almost mythical stature in the world of pyrotechnics, and rightfully so.
For each of the past 13 years, pyro freaks, gun nuts and assorted explosives aficionados gather in remote locations in the desert --different spots, on different dates -- for the world's largest and strangest outlaw fireworks show. Some people shoot really big guns. Some shoot cannons; some fire off rockets; and a few have been known to fire up themselves. But mostly, people like to blow things up.
Since the event isn't -- how shall we put this -- entirely legal, it's kept as secret as can be, and in the year 2000, it wasn't held at all, which allowed people to store up a lot of stuff that needed to be exploded. The call went out to the small list of invitees a few weeks ago, and this time, there was more urgency than ever. No time for elaborate plans, no time to cue the Desert Blast Air Force, barely enough time to pack up the million-volt Tesla coil for the trip. Nope, this wasn't to be your normal desert blast. This time, there would be a wedding.
The happy couple -- we'll call them Jim and Kerrie and leave it at that -- decided to get married in the middle of nowhere, with the crackle of explosives ringing in their ears, the smell of gunpowder stinging their nostrils, the romantic little devils.
To top off the wedding, key personnel from a local rocket company brought along a trailer packed with rocket propellant and assorted shavings altogether, its an impressive little pile.
When the rocket fuel was ready, a reporter gave last minute advice to the groom: "It's not too late."
But the ceremony was on. The bride entered, accompanied by the Desert Blast chorus.
Charlotte Richards of the little white chapel presided. A kiss for the bride and then, the topper, as the newlyweds stared into the darkness.
Richards has seen a lot of weddings, nothing quite like this.
Maybe the Carpenters weren't here to sing "We've Only Just Begun," but some folks will settle for this.
For the record, the Desert Blast crew makes it a point to always clean up after these events. In a related note, we have it on good authority that the marriage is still going strong.