Not all plans to watch fireworks turn out, well, picture perfect.
After a late-evening early-birthday picnic for my mom at Sterling Nature Center, after we bid farewell to my mother and my brother and his adorable family, I asked Arius if he wanted to check out the Fair Haven fireworks. He said yes excitedly and, even though it was already about 9, with the Wall of Fire beginning at 9:30 and fireworks launching about 10, we headed west hoping for the best.
We found a parking spot over a giant puddle just off the main street and walked a few blocks to find a large gathering of families at the east side playground stretching north to Little Sodus Inn. On the whole I subscribe to the theory of the wisdom of crowds, especially for local knowledge, so I spread out the blanket and Arius even caught a snooze as amateur fireworks hour lapsed and we were ready for the professionals.
Then the first shot went up, and everybody in the park murmured about the same thing: The trees are in the way. Whether the launch spot moved because of flooding or for whatever reason, you now had a park full of people with an obstructed view.
The young woman one blanket over who seemed to be taking notes on every absurd utterance or happening to that point could have filled several pages of her notebook on what happened next. Spectators uprooted their blankets and bodies, and I suspect this is somewhat what the California gold rush looked like. A recently awakened Arius and I joined the nomadic party because why not?
But no good options presented themselves. Little Sodus Inn was crowded, no bare patches of land emerged and the herd was clamoring toward any desirable spots. I asked Arius if he wanted to go home, and was happy that he said yes.
We managed to catch a fire nice bursts from the sidewalks of Main Street, and watched for a few more moments from the car as I waited at an empty intersection before I pointed the Jeep east — meaning we also avoided a traffic jam.
I’m all about celebrating life’s imperfect moments, and this was another example. You can catch fireworks anywhere around Independence Day, and might not recall them later. This family adventure was one to remember.