Despite the drought, despite an area-wide ban on the sale or use of fireworks and despite even the children being denied their sparklers and snakes, the traditional Independence Day show will go on in Houston. Billed as an “extraordinary extravaganza”, the Freedom Over Texas festival is a wonderful event that also exemplifies the sort of hyperbolic excess dear to the hearts of civic boosters everywhere.
Houston’s not alone, of course. Washington D.C. planners are promoting “spectacular” fireworks explosions over the Washington Monument. Huntington Beach promises the “largest parade west of the Mississippi River”. New York City will be “displaying its patriotism through massive fireworks” and Boston intends to celebrate “in a big way”. San Francisco and Chicago will provide “magnificent” and “breath-taking” events, while New Orleans will tow out a barge to make it all happen. Not to be outdone, San Diego will be broadcasting their “Big Bay Boom” live to the web with helicopter views, ensuring that the rest of the country will have opportunity to see the show “rated Number Seven by the travel industry”. (more…)