No, it wasn't some government sponsored or government sanctioned event. It was a bring-your-own kind of Independence Day celebration that seemed to span for miles along an Atlantic resort town beachfront.
I almost got the idea that folks visiting here from Tennessee or South Carolina cleaned out the inventory of every fireworks store they passed on their way south. And I suspect some of them spent as much or more on fireworks than they spent on an oceanfront condo for the week.
At times, the beach was as smoky as a Revolutionary War battlefield from all the burnt powder.
Some folks around the country had their Independence Day celebrations cut short or cancelled by weather, or by local governments fearing trouble makers, or by the convenient sequester excuse. Others endured their supposed celebrations of independence and liberty under the watchful eyes of police or DHS. But where we were, it was a celebration of the people and by the people, apparently unrestrained by government.
Things quieted down by 10:30. And around 11:15, a pair of official vehicles came up the strip, I suppose to make sure order had self-restored. And by all appearances, it had.
Shortly after sunrise, what appeared to be a survey vehicle made its way down the sand, it bore a sign on its side saying fireworks were illegal on the beach. Apparently what we witnessed last night was an Independence Day celebration with a touch of rebellion. But doesn't that reflect some of the nature of what the holiday is supposed to commemorate?