I've always thought the real reason I enjoyed July 4th celebrations was the excuse to have some more drinking time squeezed in during the summer.
I don't, in fact, like Fireworks or the 1812 Overture and for many patriotic souls those are staples on July 4th. I get nervous around fireworks because they are dangerous, loud and smelly. And, when mixing the Red, White and Booze into the day, they become REALLY dangerous.
However, this year up at the beach they canceled the fireworks display in Ogunquit for lack of funds - I'm guessing - so it allotted us more drinking time during the Lobsterfest we enjoyed (and took no pictures of!) at my parent's house. And as I started with a few beers, and turned to drinking wine later in the night, I found that I wanted to see fireworks really badly. So badly that I sat out on my parents deck on their 2nd floor, got bitten by mosquitoes, and inhaled so much smoke it felt like I had actually burned through a pack of cigarettes, just so I could enjoy the neighborhood display of bottle rockets and pyrotechnic motherlodes - that's really the name of the best seller at this fireworks site - shooting off in every direction. The locals were not going to let some "lack of funds" ruin their festivities and plenty of folks took matters into their own hands. And respectfully it all ended by 10:00 and I hooted and hollered with my mother and aunt and clapped like we were sitting on the Charles in Boston watching the BSO and fireworks display there!
So it all came back to me really quickly why I drive North every year with thousands of other local tourists to partake in the Fourth of July festivities at the beach...it's partly for the drinking but mainly to enjoy time with family and the occasional glow in the sky.
Our own fireworks display happened before the sun went down because my kids weren't sure what planet they were on by 7:30 and HAD to go to bed - thus the blank stares in these pictures: