The Jaffrey, New Hampshire, Festival of Fireworks is an annual event that bills itself as “the best fireworks show in New England.” It was held on August 20th (it’s generally the third week in August) and has earned its following of fireworks aficionados owing to the dazzling display put on by Atlas Pyrotechnics. A company that calls the Monadnock region home, Atlas Pyrotechnics is a giant in the fireworks field.
(See our “Yankee Classic” story on this event: https://newengland.com/issues/2009-07/interact/10things/fireworks)
It may be heresy for me — as one who lives in the region that hosts this yearly extravaganza — to proclaim this, but I’m not a fan of fireworks. They make me anxious. To be fair, I should also reveal that the list of things that cause me angst is long and varied: balloons, clowns, gas grills, and an untidy desk, for example. So, though the Festival has its fans, there are others, like me, who welcome it simply for the thousands of people who are drawn to the area because of it.
Indeed, “Fireworks Day” has become “Yard Sale Day” in the town of Jaffrey. The United Church hosts its annual flea market, and several residences also take advantage of the weekend crowds to clear out all that good stuff that no one’s using but is just too nice to toss. For many, the joy of the yard sale isn’t in earning a few extra bucks, but rather, the extra shelf and closet space. One woman even had a table of “freebies.” She did tell me, though, that when some shoppers realized that the items they were examining were free, they put them back! This happened several times over. Perhaps “free” is just too easy for those seeking the thrill of negotiation.
Whether you want to take in the thrill of thunderous fireworks or the quieter delight of shopping for bargains, mark your calendar to be in Jaffrey next August.