4th of July Fireworks

作者: , 2009/07/06 13:17 EDT

So as you all know, Saturday was Independence Day, better known as the 4th of July. For the first time in my memory, my family and I went to Boston to watch the fireworks. The last time I had gone to see fireworks was a distant memory (I was about five) so I was looking forward to a fireworks experience I could remember properly.

We left the house at 8, which I thought rather unnecessary at the time seeing as the fireworks didn’t start until 10:30. We set off for Alewife, with a quick detour to pick up some family friends, then parked our minivan on the top floor. The other four levels were jam-packed with cars, and we felt rather lucky to have secured a spot. After entering the building and squeezing through the gates, we boarded the T and hunkered down, ready for what my mom had predicted to be a forty-minute ride. Needless to say, us children were feeling more than a bit pessimistic at this point, as we had not had the foresight to bring any form of entertainment. Fortunately my mom’s dark prediction went the way of most of the recent weather forecasts and we were off the T after a considerably shorter time, of about 20 minutes.


Arising from the depths of the subway, we were temporarily at a loss as to where we should go until a friendly policeman standing nearby obliged to give us directions. Hand in hand, as to not lose any one of our party, we trotted down the closed-off roads and finally arrived at our destination, the Cambridge side of the Charles River. As I took in the multitudes of people walking about, sitting on the grass, and generally taking up space, I understood why we had left so early. Fortunately after some scouting around by my dad, we found a relatively good spot on the pavement and settled down. Then came the bombshell: we would have to wait another HOUR until the fireworks started. A whole hour, for one half hour of fireworks.

I resigned myself to waiting, and decided that perhaps if I just slept the hour away I would be fine. With that thought in mind I attempted to lie down and get some rest, but with the amount of chattering going on around me and the audio from a TV station blasting from the loudspeakers set at intervals throughout the area, it became obvious that sleeping wasn’t going to work. In the end I managed to while away the remaining time by eating all the candy we had brought.


Before the main half hour of fireworks there a bit that concluded an interesting classical piece that I’ve forgotten the name of. (My dad took some excellent pictures of it, which I’m sure he will post.) After those preliminary sparks it wasn’t very long before the actual thing came, and the excitement began to build. Finally at 10:30 the first of the fireworks began to shoot from the barge in the middle of the river, and soon we were all on our feet ooh-ing and ah-ing at the stunning display of colored lights. The bang as they exploded was deafening, and as my little brother stuffed his fingers in his ears I myself had to cross my arms over my chest to stop the rather uncomfortable feel of my ribs vibrating.

The show was amazing, each second bringing new kinds of lights that changed color, spun in golden swirls, and exploded outwards in showers of red, blue, green, purple, and white. Some of the fireworks were so large they seemed to reach over the river and dissipate in the sky over our heads. Nearing the end, the fireworks seemed to go into a frenzy, exploding non-stop as the bangs began to take on the aspect of never-ending thunder. All too soon, the last one fizzled out and the sky was dark.


We packed up, gathered our trash and various belongings, then followed the crowd back to the station. I have never seen such a alarmingly large amount of people in one place; the subway station was filled to the brim with fireworks spectators. Unfortunately my little brother chose this rather inconvenient time to have a sudden stomachache, but we made it onto the T without incident and found a spot to wait out the ride back to Alewife.

Back in Alewife, the traffic on the fifth floor was nightmarish. We were stuck in line for nearly an hour, enough time for two trips to the bathroom. The line waiting for the restroom was, if possible, even worse. It turned out there was only two stalls, and only one worked. Luckily the second group, consisting of me, my mom, and her friend, made it back to the car before the line started to move, and we were off. All in all it was more than two hours after we arrived in Alewife until we dropped off the family friends and got home.

This most recent fireworks adventure was certainly very memorable. I think it was quite the experience, although I’m not particularly keen to repeat it anytime soon if I’ll have to go through the uncomfortable side effects of terrible traffic and severe lack of good bathrooms. However I’m sure I will remember this for years to come, and I urge anyone who has never gone to see the 4th of July fireworks to do so and disregard whatever negative things may happen afterward.


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