Ever wondered why we pop fireworks on the 4th of July? Wonder no more because after doing some research I found out when and where this tradition was started.

John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776 that signing the Declaration of Independence should be a “great anniversary Festival” and “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

The next year Congress ordained the tradition in Philadelphia with an amazing fireworks display as well as firing 13 rockets to symbolize the 13 colonies. In the next few years the tradition started to spread through Boston, New York, and other cities.

By the early 1800’s Pyrotechnicians emerged as a profession, cities would often try to outdo one another with their firework displays and would hire them to create firework masterpieces. Up until this point fireworks were only allowed to certain people, however now becoming available to anyone which created quite havoc. Children would abuse the privileges to have these explosives and would light them and throw them at merchants on the streets.

Soon cities started to ban use of fireworks in city limits for safety reasons but also because of the noise. These cities would offer official displays in hopes to gather a crowd for one firework show instead of having many individuals doing their own.

Today there are much stricter laws in place that restrain who can buy fireworks, when and how many as well. Many cities have downsized their firework displays or cut them completely due to budget requirements.

Lucky for us on St. Simons Island we have and will continue to celebrate the 4th of July with the iconic and traditional fireworks display that Americans associate with patriotism and our Independence. Fireworks can be seen over the waters of the East River and Oglethorpe Bay starting at 9:00 pm of July 4th, compliments of The City of Brunswick, Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association, and the Downtown Development Authority.

For more information regarding this year’s firework display and 4th of July celebration visit http://www.goldenisles.com/festivals-events/4th-of-july-celebrations