July 4, 2014

third of july fireworks
Technically, the title should be July 3, 2014. With Tropical Storm Arthur's impending arrival, the city moved the festivities a day earlier, hoping to avoid the storm. At 9 p.m., the skies were clear and so was the forecast for the next few hours, so, joined by a friend from community group, we hopped on our bikes and headed for Cambridge side.

Memorial Drive is always closed for the celebration; we enjoyed a leisurely ride weaving through the happy crowds of people. We staked out our spot and listened to the Beach Boys over the speakers as we counted down to fireworks.

boston's fourth of july 2014

At 10:07 p.m., a full 23 minutes before the scheduled start time, a pleasant voice announced the show would start immediately, and if the forecast was still clear by the time it was over, they would perform the 1812 Overture, normally the conclusion of the Pops concert and a teaser for the main event.

The show was beautiful, as always. My favorites (always) were the gigantic blooms that left trails of gold glitter suspended in the air like branches of a willow tree, and the explosions of green that hung in the sky for a moment before the sparks darted away like fireflies in all directions.

boston's fourth of july 2014

As the last of the finale sparks faded in the sky, the pleasant voice returned to the speakers. "Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating. State police have ordered an immediate evacuation of the area. Happy third of July!"

boston's fourth of july 2014

We inched our bikes through the packed crowds on Memorial Drive. As we approached the BU bridge, I heard shouts from the crowd ahead of us and felt a sudden short burst of water. Are fire trucks doing evacuation crowd control with hoses? I briefly wondered. The answer came swiftly, with a wall of rain driving sideways, followed by thunder and lightning.

We were all drenched in seconds. Unsure how long this onslaught would last or if it would get worse — Arthur was coming — we pressed on. By the time we got home, the rain had slowed down, I felt like I had jumped into a lake with my clothes on, and we couldn't stop laughing.

It may not have been our best view or biggest party, but this Independence Day in Boston will go down in our books as one of the best.

2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 (the one year we stayed in Brookline, can you tell?)

boston's fourth of july 2014