The show goes on

Despite cancellation of big events, other shows are ready to give  you bang for your buck

Two longstanding and popular fireworks shows in the Monadnock region aren’t happening this year.

Last August, a bomb threat led to the cancellation of the annual Jaffrey Festival of Fireworks and in April the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce and other organizers announced that the festival would not be held this summer. They said the cost for additional security at the Silver Ranch Airpark would have required a significant increase in ticket costs.

And the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce won’t be holding its traditional Fourth of July show either, after the ConVal School Board determined the event was likely to damage the revitalized athletic fields at ConVal High School and that parking wouldn’t be available because the school’s lot is scheduled for repaving.

But that doesn’t mean fans of pyrotechnics have to travel to Boston or other cities for a live show or rely on television. They still have several options for exciting shows to celebrate the Fourth of July. And while the displays in Hancock, Dublin, Rindge and Greenville may not be as large or last as long as those in Jaffrey or Peterborough, they do offer one significant benefit — there are no admission fees.


The annual show at Norway Pond in Hancock will be on Saturday, July 6 this year, starting at dusk. Coordinator Robin Mose said she’s expecting attendance to be up this year, since the show won’t overlap with Peterborough, which has sometimes happened in the past.

“We’re using a company called Pyrotechnico, out of Jaffrey,” Mose says. “This will be the second year with them. I think they did a great job last year. Everyone seemed to say it was a good show.”

The fireworks are shot off over Norway Pond in the center of town. Spectators line the town beach and the hillside overlooking the pond. The evening will start with an ice cream social in the Vestry next to the First Congregational Church. School children will be doing a reading of the Declaration of Independence, musician Wendy Keith will be performing at the town’s bandstand, and Bob Fogg will be assisting children who want to ring the church’s Paul Revere bell between 6 and 7 p.m.

“It’s a town event that’s a lot of fun for everyone,” Mose says.

Parking is limited on Main Street. In addition to the small lots at the beach, behind the library and behind the town office, people may park at the elementary school and at the fire station and walk into town.

Mose says volunteers will be asking for contributions to support the event in the future.

“We have a fireworks fund, but it isn’t large,” she says. “We’d certainly encourage people to make donations.”


A late-night fireworks display on July 3, preceding the town’s popular pots and pans parade, is a highlight of Greenville’s annual Fourth of July celebration.

The fireworks will be set off at about 11:30 p.m. at the ball field at the former school on Adams Street. Town Administrator Kelly Collins says food vendors will be setting up in the late afternoon and a DJ will provide music starting at 8 p.m.

The parade kicks off at midnight. Anyone is welcome to march from the former elementary school through downtown, making a racket banging on metal cookware. It’s a tradition Collins says has been going on for years.

“It’s totally different from other parades. That’s what I like about it,” she says.

The fireworks and parade are free. There’s no parking at the ball field and people are on their own to find places to park downtown, Collins says.


Members of the Dublin Lake Club shoot off quite a display from rafts on the lake every year on the Fourth of July.

““I’m 87 now and I’ve been doing it since I was in my teens,” says David Howe of Marlborough, who organizes the event with fellow club member George Foote. “In the old days, we had to light each piece with a match. Now it’s all electronic and we fire it off from the shore.”

The club is private, but the display can be seen from the roads surrounding the lake.

“We pay for it all ourselves, but we welcome people to watch, ” Howe says. “Most people park along Route 101. You can see it all very well from there. You can also see from spots along Lake Road.”

The display usually starts at about 9:15 p.m., Howe says.

Howe says they buy all their material from Atlas Pyrotechnics in Jaffrey, but they set up the display themselves.

“We go through a three-hour safety session with Atlas every year,” he says. “Safety is terribly important. I’m the choreographer and it’s all set up so each shell is attached to a control board and plugged into our computer. George does all that. He’s a wizard.”


Fireworks are also planned as the culmination of the Rindge Family Festival on July 4, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce on the town commons by the library and the Congregational Church.

While details are still being arranged, Lisa Murray of the Chamber says the event will run from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

“Based on last year, people can expect several food vendor stands with lots of fun food for sale, music in the gazebo, and children’s games,” Murray says. “And we hope to have the fireworks at dusk.”

Free parking will be available at Rindge Memorial School and at the town’s transfer station at 113 Main St. Free shuttles will take visitors to the commons.

So take your pick. Or hit Greenville on July 3, Dublin or Rindge on the fourth, and Hancock on July 6. Fireworks aficionados still have lots of choices.

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