A first on the Fourth

U of C students and Hyde Parkers gathered at Promontory Point for its inaugural July 4th fireworks show.

Nothing brings Hyde Park together quite like a summer picnic or a parking crisis, and the first July 4th fireworks show held at Promontory Point gave them a little of both—and added some spectacle, to boot.

Rather than the bombs-bursting-in-air-worthy Grant Park extravaganza held every year since 1975, the city launched fireworks at three locations, including, for the first time, 63rd Street Beach in Hyde Park. The show lasted 15 minutes, and included novelties (heart- and smiley-shaped fireworks) and the perennial favorites (known to pyrotechnologists as bloom-y ones, waterfall-y ones, and sparkl-y ones, we think).

But the fireworks weren't the only thing bringing people to the Point. It was a wonderful sunny day, so the grills, swimsuits, kites, and low-rider bikes were out long before the fireworks started. As was the Chicago Police Department, which booked only seven people this year across all three shows, down from 30 arrests at last year's Grant Park display.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, but there was at least one downside: it was pretty hard to find parking. Luckily, no one seemed too upset. Below, a slideshow of the excursions and explosions.

Burke Frank, '11, and Asher Klein, '11

July 6, 2010