MIAMI – The 4th of July, 2016 was welcomed by Miamians for two reasons: extended weekend and celebration of their patriotism. Many people have stocked their firecrackers supply in the previous months waiting impatiently for this day.
White, blue and red filled the Bayside Market Place, and flags of all sizes waved in the wind. People wearing tricolor hats a walked through the area with joyous smiles and cheers. Everyone had their cameras ready to capture the excitement of the events.
A mother fixed her son’s shirt and pushed him closer to his sister while trying to snap a picture by the palm tree decorated with white, blue and red ribbons. The boy posed and smiled. His tongue peeked through the empty space where his front teeth were missing.
A small crowd gathered by the entrance in Bayside to clap in the rhythm of a three-man street band. Two percussionists hit the bucket-made drums and shook their head with every beat. A tall man stood to their right and blew with soul in his trumpet. The standing people moved their body parts in the tempo of blues. A few of them dropped some money in the bucket that said “tips.”
As the sun set down and the last rays crossed the skies, more and more people arrived in Bayside and walking toward the shore became harder and harder. Shoulders brushed against shoulders, as each person tried to sneak through the mass and obtain the best place to watch the fireworks at 9 p.m.
A rock local band played 80s songs on the stage by the water. People sat in a circle surrounding the stage. Everyone cheered at the encouragement of the lead singer. A few minutes before fireworks, the bass player pulled the strings of his guitar and dedicated the American anthem to the crowd. Everyone stood, placed the right hand close to their hearts and sang in unison the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Tears mixed with cheers appeared on some faces as the last lyrics echoed in the air.
A loud bang appeared to be the first of many fireworks to light the sky that night. Everyone turned to the left and pushed each other to move closer to the bay. As all the colors of the rainbow exploded in the dark sky, each time cheers exploded in the mass of people.
Families hugged, and friends clinked their glasses of wine or champagne or their bottles of beer. Each person tried to immortalize the moments with their phone cameras. Thousands of selfies were taken at the same time. The flashes of the cameras mixed with the sparkles of the fireworks as if it was raining with light.
Once the booming stopped, and the sky darkened again, the cheers ceased as well. And the sea people of people flooded the streets going back to where they came from, back to their mundane lives.
The Bayside transformed in an ocean of plastic cups and bottles, ripped American flags and other sorts of strange things.