Happy 4th of July!
When I was a kid this was my favorite holiday. I don’t know what it is about little boys and controlled explosions, but I’d take The Fourth of July over gifts on Christmas any time. With my birthday only two days later, my mother used to make me pick whether I wanted a birthday present or fireworks. I always went with the latter, so we’d get a Moonshot Rocket from one of those wooden stands that spring up all across the city. Every year she and every other adult in line would complain about how much the price went up.
In all of my years living here I only know of one person who actually went down to The Mall to watch the fireworks. Everyone else I knew went to that spot in the neighborhood where they could see at least the tip of The Monument. Ours was up at Lincoln Park. They’d sit me on a trashcan so that I could see over people and we’d wait for the show to start. The pre-game show was brought to you by those people who went down to South Carolina to get the good (read: illegal) fireworks.
We’d watch the illegal fireworks with as much excitement as the real show. When both were over we’d go back down the street and light our fireworks. The next day I’d get up early in the morning and run up to the park with a trashbag, so that I could beat the National Park Service before they cleaned up. I’d scour the park for fireworks that people misplaced in the dark (and thus never lit) and I’d take them all home to light that night. Usually I would find about 5-10 fountains and a few packs of sparklers.
It’s a given in DC that you’re gonna hear fireworks being shot the entire month of July, so no one had an issue with me lighting fireworks on July 5th. It’s also given that you’ll hear people shooting at the sky when they run out of fireworks, so maybe that’s why no one says anything to people lighting fireworks way after The Fourth.