Anyway, this year I bought a few tame fireworks to share at the party. And the Morris's had some old hand-held sparklers lying around. Anna really liked the little firework that I bought - just a tiny thing you set on the ground, and it shoots sparks and colors, relatively quietly, into the air for maybe 15-20 seconds. After some "dinner" (2 bananas, but that's better than nothing) and some cake, she was ready to go see the fireworks.
We lit the sparklers first. Anna didn't want to hold one initially; just enjoyed watching. But then she saw another 2 1/2 year old hold one, so she got the courage to hold one. I helped her hold it, showing her to hold it away from her and watch it, and she really liked it. When it burned out, I turned to get the disposal can, then I turned back around just in time to see her reach with her other hand to grab the portion of the sparkler that was burned out but still very hot, too late to stop her.
She did thoroughly enjoy the other fireworks I brought. I also had two bigger ones that popped kind of loudly. John Morris held Anna as those went off. The first one, she covered her ears and was half crying, half laughing. Then for the 2nd one, she covered her ears, but was clearly laughing and enjoying it. Then on the way home she excitedly pointed out fireworks in the sky - maybe next year she'll be ready to see some "real" ones at the park.