White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bonfires and Fireworks, White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

At White Horse Beach, a long tradition holds that on July 3rd, bonfires be built and fireworks be exploded. It is a tribute to responsible behavior that random people can gather by the thousands, play with fire and explosives and few, if any, get hurt.  We humans somehow work it out.  

 Kids engage in typical beach activities waiting for the hoopla.

And as dusk settles, the bonfires light up the beach. Bonfires require a permit issued by the town. There are restrictions which include placement relative to the high tide line.  It's all very civilized - to the extent that towering piles of burning wood and exploding fireworks can be civilized.

And as darkness settles in, folks all along the few miles of beach randomly light their fireworks as the tide slowly overtakes the smoldering ashes of the bonfires. Although fireworks are illegal for plain folks to buy, sell, or ignite in the State of Massachusetts, many towns and cities have magnificent displays for their residents to celebrate Independence Day.  They do so with appropriate safeguards and are executed by experts with the requisite pyrotechnic skill. That is not necessarily the case here. 

Notwithstanding the law prohibiting fireworks, private citizens along this stretch of beach manage to set off quite impressive displays.  Personally, I regard it as a testimony to the sensibility and wisdom of the Town of Plymouth to accept this long-standing tradition and provide assistance, presence, crowd control, traffic control, haul away the inebriated misbehavers, but basically not interfere with adults making adult choices. How fitting to have freedom of choice in the land of the free.

Although White Horse Beach does have a small public beach section, there is almost zero parking and zero amenities and most roads are closed to non-residents by 6pm on this day.  If you don't live here or have friends who you stay with who live here, don't come - it's not that kind of event.

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