Like many other Fall River residents I made my way down to Heritage State Park to watch the Fourth of July fireworks display.
The last time I was able to go to the city's display was in 2005, the last year they were held at Kennedy Park. How much different it is now. Live music played from a portable stage on the green and the parking lot housed a small amusement park. Families crowded along the boardwalk to see the show. I had to wonder if the boardwalk was designed to hold so much weight. Those jockeying for the best view paid $3 to watch the show from the deck of the Big Mamie. They needn't have bothered, the display was brief and disappointing. It seemed like the firework display was almost an afterthought.
How much different it all was the last time I went. People didn't go to Kennedy Park to hear the live music or to go to the amusement park. People went to Kennedy Park to see the fireworks, to sit under the blanket of darkness and to hear and feel the booming explosions and watch the night sky erupt into streams of color. People didn't crowd boardwalks or pay to watch from battleships, instead Kennedy park became a sea of blankets. It's sloping expanse becoming a natural grandstand.
At Heritage Park the mindset seems to be 'come celebrate with us' at Kennedy it seemed understood that families had already had their cookouts and celebrations and this was like a simple yet perfect dessert after a great meal.