I went and saw fireworks on the fourth, which was pretty fun. I don’t love celebrating america, but I love fireworks. It would have been better if I didn’t have to go out to Roseville though.
There used to be fireworks in Powderhorn Park, and that’s where we would go almost every year as I was growing up. My parents have friends who live a couple blocks from the park, and I remember going over to there house for a barbeque before walking over to the park. I knew that going to the fireworks at Powderhorn I was bound to run into someone from church and someone from school. Watching fireworks in Powderhorn Park meant watching fireworks surrounded by my community.
Now there is only one fireworks display in Minneapolis, downtown. And only one in Saint Paul, downtown there too. Nothing in the neighborhoods.
It’s not like the actual display at Powderhorn was amazing. It was fine, but not knock your socks off wow. And yes, it was almost certainly a fire hazard, with people setting off little fireworks in the aisle that people were supposed to use to walk up the hill. But that was all part of the charm. All of the noise, and chaos, and good people watching.
The fireworks in Roseville were fine. The were loud and bright, everything that I’m looking for in a fireworks display. But I didn’t want to be there. It isn’t right that I have to go out to Roseville to sit on the side of a hill and watch some fireworks go off over some water. I should be able to do this without leaving South Minneapolis.
Like, I have a lot of issues with america, I have a hard time celebrating it, but I love my local little community, and going to the fireworks in the neighborhood I grew up in was a way to celebrate that. South Minneapolis is diverse, and liberal, and weird. It’s full of free speech, and ingenuity, and creativity, and people trying to make better lives for themselves, their families, their communities. It’s full of the parts of america that I can get behind.
And like, I’m sure people in Roseville are fine, but that’s not where I’m from, and it’s not where I want to end up, and it isn’t where I want to watch fireworks. It just feels weird, and uncomfortable. And maybe that’s fitting, maybe that’s a good reflection of how I fit in as an american. But I still miss the fireworks at Powderhorn.