Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bangs and Booms

For the Fourth of July, I usually go to both the Saginaw fireworks and the Bay City fireworks because Bay City has three days of fireworks and usually has the biggest event not on July 4, but on a day closer to the weekend. This year, however, July 4 was on a Saturday, so I had to decide between the two. Normally I would have picked Bay City over Saginaw, but the traffic is always bad, and I heard that Saginaw's fireworks display is the largest in the state (surprisingly). One thing that cautioned me against going into the city, though, was what happened last year. It was nothing big, but some people from the hordes of teenagers from the East Side created some sort of disturbance, and the Anti-Gang Task Force (i.e., the police) responded with pepper spray that had the unfortunate effect of blowing towards the hundreds of bystanders farther up the bridge. Collateral damage I suppose? With that in mind, I still decided to head downtown and take my chances, even as I wondered, What's the chance of something happening this year?

I found a good parking spot only a few blocks away from the Court Street bridge and headed up the bridge towards the middle. I thought we had come early, but there weren't any spots near the railing, so we had to settle for second-row spots a little farther down the bridge towards the East Side. I was doubly disappointed because I had brought my camera along but no tripod, and it would be difficult to get good pictures without some sort of support.

It seemed like it was going to be a good fireworks display and an uneventful night, but then suddenly the horde of teenagers began running up the bridge, screaming. Everyone was unsure of what had happened, but the panic slowly dissipated, and the police gradually made their way up the bridge.

I learned later on the news that the police were investigating reports of gunshots on the bridge during the Fourth of July celebrations. I guess that's what it was.

I don't know why I always stand on the bridge closer to the East Side. Maybe next year I'll be a little less adventurous.

No comments: