Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
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July 4th is on a Monday in 2016 and so that means many days of holiday fun. Since Thursday, Haverhill Hillies have filled their calendars with multiple concerts, chalking the park, a poetry slam, the carnival, shopping the farmers’ market for special holiday treats, and, of course, fireworks.
Haverhill’s Independence Day fireworks are regularly scheduled on July 3. The Heartbeat of Haverhill arrived at Riverside Park early for best seating, a chance at good free parking and the opportunity to buzz around saying ‘hi’, watching the boats collect and tie up together on the Merrimack River for the fireworks, and listening to two musical acts – ‘The Take’ (a rock group played a number of songs and as a finale, they covered Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Star Spangled Banner’. Letriah Masters of Merrimack Valley Music & Arts sang an original composition “Haverhill Anthem” dedicated to the resiliency and unity of our city.
This year’s event included more vendors, more police force to help manage traffic both at the event and en route, more rockets, and it seemed more people but it didn’t seem overly crowded. There was plenty of space at Riverside Park to stretch and enjoy the sights and sounds.
After a hiatus of several years, the carnival returned to entice us with all its flashing lights, shrieking and laughter, and scents of carnival food.
And then the main event. The fireworks. THOH evaluates fireworks based on several criteria: color, choreography, shapes, noise and general excitement factor. This year the fireworks were outstanding according to our unscientific poll. The show was so good, we even came up with a new criteria – layering. It didn’t appear that any new colors were introduced but the effect generated by layering multiple fireworks together was such that there were very few monochromatic displays. All that layering presented new shapes in the night sky. Not like the shapes that we’ve seen in years past (Happy Faces, rings, etc) but instead we saw things that mimic celestial novas, and abstract paintings. Extra credit was also given for choreography. Of course that doesn’t mean the explosions were twerking. And though the first rocket went up to the last strains of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA”, they weren’t synched to music, but instead the timing was such that we were teased with false endings when a rush of blasts made us fear we’d come to the conclusion of the show, when it hadn’t. There were great clusters of colors reaching all over the sky. There were twin bursts on two sides, left and right or up and down. As far as the noise level. It was pretty high especially toward the end. We could feel the reverberation in our chests. I hope everyone took precautions with pets and more importantly with the people they love who might be made anxious by those sounds. For those who like the loud booms, they were not disappointed.In our little corner close to second base on baseball diamond, we saw many happy groups of all ages enjoying the day and evening together.
In case you wondered how they make colors in fireworks check out the PBS News Hour gif chart
The Heartbeat of Haverhill thanks the City and the participants who bring us this wonderful event.