Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
There was a lot of activity on The Heartbeat of Haverhill Facebook page as we relayed updates from City Hall about whether the weather would doom our fireworks display. A severe summer storm was thundering in from the west. The fireworks were for a brief moment reported to have been switched to another date, then they were on, then under advisement, and we waited and played it by ear as requested. With each update on various websites and Facebook pages we’d read the pros and cons. Not everyone was going to be happy regardless of when the fireworks brightened the sky, but was everyone going to be safe.
At 5pm we were hit by a wave of severe thunderstorms that shut down electricity in some parts of the city but that was followed by a double rainbow making the false promise of fairer weather. We all knew another storm was looming out west, but it was pretty far away. The City announced the show was on, though many other towns had cancelled. The Haverhill Cultural Council posted that the musicians would play.
“A Boy Named Sue” would kick off the “Make Some Noise” free summer music series, a DJ would spin some dance music for the kids and then “EJ Ouellette and Crazy Maggy” would take the stage. Toes were tapping and hands clapping and folks were dancing. It was an excellent decision to come to the show.
THOH saw Mayor Fiorentini at Riverside Park. Between engaging his constituents, he checked his cell for weather updates. Had anything changed? Had the storm moved more quickly than anticipated? He and his team including the recreation department and the police force were now responsible for the safety of hundreds if not thousands of people who congregated at Riverside Park for Haverhill’s salute to America. While others were concerned about the line at the slush or fried dough counter, he was concerned about us.
Ultimately the right decision was made. The City of Haverhill hosted a brilliant pyrotechnic display. The booms were the loudest ever, the colors the brightest – the eye piercing whites and golds, the pale and darker blues, the reds, yellows, and greens, the shapes of compound rockets had the crowd chattering – “did you see the Happy Face”, “Look, there’s a heart” and from the science fans “Did that look like a crab nebula?”
The red, white, and blue clad families “oohed” and “ahhed” with each new drama taking place in the sky. And after the most intense explosion sequence, the crowds walked or drove home. THOH wended our way through Haverhill’s police-attended detours to Bradford. After a snack and a recap of the photos taken, the skies lit up and blinded again, the bellowing booms startled the animals (okay, and maybe an adult or two). We safely watched from inside as a seemingly jealous Mother Nature provided her own show. In The Heartbeat of Haverhill’s estimation, it was no contest. Our city out performed Mother Nature (if just for this one night) by far. Thanks for the fabulous show!
(c)2014 by Alison Colby-Campbell