There were at least seven major fireworks displays in Chautauqua County this Fourth of July weekend. On Sunday is was Silver Creek. On Monday the 4th, displays were held in Lakewood, Bemus Point, at Midway Park, in Findley Lake, in Mayville, and in Dunkirk. This year, I took my family to Dunkirk. It was quite an experience.
The fireworks and July 4th festivities took place at the City Pier, Boardwalk Marketplace and Memorial Park area on the waterfront. We arrived around 8:30 p.m. and the place was filled with a few thousand folks. Our first sight after noticing the large number of people enjoying themselves, was the beautiful Lake Erie sunset. It went from orange, to pink, to an eventual twilight that cast anything on the lake as a silhouette.
There was a band playing near the seawall and a large festival/vending area in Memorial Park. The Boardwalk was jammed with people enjoying pizza, beverages, and ice cream. We stopped at the ice cream place. Being a tourism marketing person, I did a mental estimate on how much business that ice cream shop must do just on that one day. I figure almost $5,000 ($4/serving, 120 servings per hour, 10 hour day). Tourism is a wonderful thing.
The fireworks themselves were spectacular. The display lasted 40 minutes and had a thunderous finale. There were also a few indpendent blasts that shook the entire Pier area. Hats off to the folks in Dunkirk who put everything together.