Boom goes the dynamite in Haverhill despite rainy forecast

HAVERHILL, Mass. — It’s the sound synonymous with the Fourth of July, but it’s a sound the folks gathering at Riverside Park didn’t get to experience last year.

“Because of the pandemic and the fact that we didn’t have it last year I think this is great,” said Ana Guzman of Haverhill. “I don’t care if it’s raining or not. It’s not thundering. I mean this is decent, if it gets any worse than this.”

Some rain in the forecast wasn’t going to cancel Haverhill’s Independence Day celebration for the second year straight, or stop the third-party companies after they missed out on so much revenue from the pandemic.

‘This is what they do, they are professionals so it was up to them whether or not they were going to carry forward or not and they decided to,” said Haverhill Deputy Fire Chief Eric Tarpy.

The city spent a couple of days setting up a perimeter and getting the fireworks in place and the hired hands do the rest. Tarpy says, it’s all digital.

“Filling the cylinders and wiring it all to the electronic controller so it’s not the days of walking around with a lit stick,” said Tarpy. “It’s definitely safer but we still take all the precautions that we need to keep the public out of the area and keep it safe everyone.”

“Usually we go on a big camping trip but this year we’re going to hold off and probably just stay home,” said Nathan Sperring of Haverhill.

While it looked like the weather would cancel Independence day celebrations for the second year in a row, folks in Haverhill can still go out with a bang.

“We are really excited to be doing fireworks here now,” said Guzman. “Especially him (Sperring). He’s the one who dragged me out here. I just got out of work so I’m like, ‘Oh my God. All right let’s do it.’”

In years past there was a carnival, but the fire chief says they’re starting slow and maybe they will get back to it next year as a full-blown celebration.

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