Monday, July 14, 2008

Fireworks Fizzle

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.


FRC said...

I agree that Kennedy Park is a better venue for fire works simply because of the sloping landscape, you can just lay down with a blanket and watch the fireworks above.

The problem was that it literally used to take over an hour for traffic to clear and all that congestion could be a problem for emergency vehicles.

Another point is that the fireworks can be used as another event to attract people to our waterfront. However, I wonder how many outsiders actually come to watch Fall River's fireworks, especially with better displays nearby in Bristol, Newport, and Seekonk Speedway.

Another point in your post was not just the location, but the quality of the fireworks themselves. It definately lacked booming explosions. Good fireworks require lots of booming explosions. I was very disappointed in the fireworks display.

I think Kennedy Park is also a better venue because its within walking distance for a lot of residents, and an excited crowd heading towards fireworks gives a more sense of celebration fitting for the 4th of July.

New England Bites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

the quality of the fire works seem to be fading in our city i wonder if that was another cut in the budget....

Faye Musselman said...

The summer nights of booming brights in skies alight now
fade away
as did the day of
booming looms and tolling bells and dinner pails in this our town,
Fall River.

Smokestacks outlined derelick and still; no steamships sailing nor ever will across the Taunton Bay, No blankets on the fresh mowed grass, as it were in summer's past
And all these things we question Why on this disappointing
Fourth of July
in this our town,
Fall River.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Laura. I also miss the post-fireworks chaos of Kennedy Park. It takes away from the excitement of the 4th of July.

No doubt that the waterfront has its positive benefits.

-Brings people to the waterfront.
-Watching from the battleship must be pretty cool.
-Less redirecting of traffic
-Less disturbance to emergency vehicles.

But nothing beats watching from the slopes of Kennedy Park with the band in the mobile stage down below.

Lefty said...

Well I urge you all to visit Fall River Community and vote in his polls related to this post.

I guess I'm a traditionalist, but Kennedy Park is where I think they belong.

Great verse Faye, it sounds like it should be carved on a mantel ;)

Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

Truth be told, there is already a fireworks display in August on the waterfront for FRCA. Why have two in one location?