By Barb Pert Templeton
When the night sky across St. Clair County and beyond becomes lit with colorful fireworks this upcoming Fourth of July weekend it will be a sure sign of independence in more ways than one.
After the year long pandemic that had so many traditional community events cancelled for the Summer of 2020, it’s certain that crowds will be plentiful and also appreciative of this year’s fireworks displays.
Most communities simply include fireworks as part of their summer festivals whether it’s the Algonac Pickerel Festival over July 4th weekend or the city of Port Huron which hosts the Blue Water Festival in late July.
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Regardless of when people gather to see the night sky alight with the sights and sounds of beautiful it’s certain our forefathers are pleased to see the tradition continuing well literally century after century.
Historians think fireworks were originally developed in the second century B.C. in ancient China. It’s believed the first natural firecrackers were actually bamboo stalks that were tossed in the fire and would explode with a bang to ward off evil spirits, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA).
Fireworks made their way to Europe and by the 15th century were standard fare at religious festivals and public entertainment venues. Italians were the first to manufacture fireworks and rulers were pleased to have them utilized to light up their castles during special occasions.
Next, early settlers brought their love of fireworks to the New World and they were an important part of the very first Independence Day. The idea was to have the illuminations shown in the sky from one end of the continent to the other. By the 18th century politicians would use firework displays to attract crowds to their personal appearances.
Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common and by 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4, was passed in 1938 and 1941.
Firework displays for Independence Day 2021
June 26, 2021
Time: 10 p.m.
Place: off 24th Avenue during the Blue Water Cruise Weekend and Carnival
Specific Place: viewing from Walmart, Meijer and Birchwood Mall parking lots.
Time: At Dusk
Place: Downtown Sandusky
Specific Place: Speaker Street, fireworks lit off from east city limits; Great viewing at the industrial park, Stoutenburg Road, Campbell Road, Firebird Theater lot, and east end businesses.
JULY 2, 2021
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Place: Lexington Harbor
Specific location: Downtown Lexington on the shores of Lake Huron where the fireworks are presented out over the water.
Time: 8 p.m.
Place: Algonac Lions Pickerel Tournament Fireworks Night for both Algonac and Clay Twp.
Specific Location: Downtown Riverfront Park
JULY 3, 2021
Place: Over the harbor on Lake Huron
Specific Place: Harbor Park
Time: At Dusk
Place: Harbor Breakwall
Specific Place: The beach on Wooded Island
Time: 8 p.m. show begins at dusk
Place: Along the St. Clair River
Specific location: Palmer Park
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Place: Port Austin State Harbor
Specific Location: Lake Street – fireworks are shot off from the break wall above the harbor