Fog dimmed Edgartown fireworks display, but not the fun

Against the backdrop of the elegant Harbor View Hotel, a crowd gazed into the foggy night sky as fireworks burst in the air. — Photo by Alison Shaw

Edgartown’s annual fireworks put a punctuation mark on Fourth of July celebrations across Martha’s Vineyard. Thursday night’s display was more like a comma than an exclamation point as spectators ringing Edgartown Harbor saw more fog than flash.

Around 9 pm, hundreds of people, pets and kids armed with poppers, mini-noise makers and glo-sticks crowded onto Memorial Wharf in Edgartown, where they expected to have a prime vantage point for the display as it erupted from a barge anchored off Edgartown Light House in the outer harbor.

But a thick blanket of fog and a light mist threw a wet blanket over the display. Once the rockets started, it was more reminiscent of the Northern Lights than a festive Fourth of July celebration — the fireworks could be heard, but barely seen.

Some in the crowd were disappointed that the display was not postponed to the July 5 raindate. “Seems like a huge waste of money and fireworks,” said Linda Farrino, a spectator visiting from Albany. “They were far better last year.”

Not everyone let the fog ruin the fun.

Best friends Lindsay Harlow, Hillary Roberts and Elizabeth Phelan said they met while working at the Edgartown Yacht Club 10years ago. “Every summer we come back; we never miss America’s birthday,” Hillary said. “We come for the tradition and we would never miss this; it’s the best holiday in the world, better than Christmas.”

The girls said they were determined not to let the weather — or an invasion of stinging jellyfish along South Beach — spoil their day. “We had a great day, lots of beach games, no Portuguese man-of-wars. Tonight we’re going to sing a lot of songs to and for America,” Elizabeth said.

Cousins Emily Gardner and Lisa Preston shared similar sentiments. “We came here last July, but we came a lot when we were younger with our families. Our moms grew up here,” Lisa said.

“We’re here for a week and I love it,” Emily said. “It’s the quintessential Fourth of July experience. It’s just so different and it’s really nice to be able to come back here — it’s just so calming and we don’t really have an agenda. We’re just taking a day to ourselves.”

Tea Nedenica, a Soft As A Grape employee on the Vineyard for her first summer, enjoyed the atmosphere.

“I like this place,” Tea said. “We have been very busy; there have been a lot of people, and it was very hot earlier. But it’s been a lot of fun.”