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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Each year, thousands of people come to Needham’s Memorial Park on July 3 to see some of the best fireworks in celebration of Independence Day. This year was bigger and better than ever.
People picked their spots hours in advance, marking them with blankets, chairs, or even plastic tarps. Other attendees came to the field hours before the first fireworks launched off to enjoy some of the other festivities available for the evening.
From the second they entered the park, visitors were hit with feelings of patriotism and joy. Kids lined up for American-themed tattoos and face paint, decorating themselves with red, white, and blue fireworks and flags. Vendors sold $2 glow sticks to help support the fireworks. Others lined up for food, like classic hamburgers, hot dogs and red white and blue snow cones, enjoying them in the sun or under the shade of a tent.
On the field, visitors participated in games of pickup soccer, passed a football back and forth, and threw frisbees and beach balls to their friends, playing until the last bit of sunlight was in the sky. A few kids made new friends by jumping into games of volleyball and pitch-n-catch.
The Reminisants played covers of popular songs that attracted kids and adults alike to the stage, dancing and singing along to the tunes.
The Dancing Through the Decades from Dancing with the Needham Stars group brought dancers of all ages up to the stage to show off a choreographed dance set to the Black-Eyed Peas song, “I Gotta Feeling.” As part of their finale, the dance group handed out flags, which they had been holding during the performance, much to the excitement of the kids in attendance.
As day turned into night, visitors retreated to their spots and awaited the fireworks. Soon, the sky lit up with explosions of glittering reds, yellows, blues, greens, orange, and pink. One child explained what each segment of the fireworks looked like: chips and guacamole, blueberries, bullets, the Hulk, Captain America, and maracas.
“I like the spinny ones,” she observed as some gold spring-like fireworks twirled through the air.
“I say this every year, but this show might be the best ever,” said Terry Mears at the conclusion of the show.
And with that, visitors packed up their belongings and returned home to prepare for the 4th.