Sucking the Oxygen out of the 4th

Have you ever wondered why a city who’s very institutions and people factored so heavily in our nation’s independence is basically silent on the 4th?     There is just one word that explains it all.


Now normally, this sister city looks with envious eyes over at all the visitors that come streaming through Newburyport.      They dream of the day when they become a destination city too. (keep dreaming, suckers!)     To be fair to them, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and they have certainly done that.       They have restored their downtown, installed brick sidewalks in their commercial district; created a pleasant restaurant and shop experience, enhanced their parks and are working hard to rejuvenate their museums and historic homes.       

But when it comes to Independence Day, it is Newburyport that looks over with envious eyes.

Amesbury is in the midst of celebrating their annual festival which will be capped off with a fireworks extravaganza that rivals our Yankee Homecoming’s.     It is a city that much more closely conforms to our Nation’s view of a patriotic all-American hometown with lovely parks, gazebos and Victorian-era homes.         Their celebrations are more family oriented.   They’re goal is to foster that community spirit that bigger towns often lose.

Besides, Newburyport’s collective energy will stay focused throughout July (with many breaks to the beach of course) in preparing for Yankee Homecoming and all the extravaganza activities that come with it.

So it is fitting that Newburyport tip its hat to Amesbury and allow them the regional honors of celebrating our Nation’s birth.

Personally, to avoid the crowds, my wife and I park at the U.S. Post Office, sit on the hood of the car and watch the fireworks reflected over the little mill pond before us.      This way we get a head start and avoid the car crush.        It’ll take some experimentation to find your favorite spot.       I’ve even gazed from the second floor of the apartment complexes that hang over Woodsom Farm.     Whatever works, and whoever you hang with; it is definitely worth seeing.

Then afterward, it’s back to sleepy Newburyport (for once) and a return to our garden-like neighborhoods!

-P. Preservationist

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