I drove over to T’s last night around 10pm. Everywhere I looked, there were fireworks being set off in the sky, from street corners, backyards, and rooftops. Children in front yards waved sparklers. Who knew inner-city folk knew how to celebrate the 4th so well! When I got to T’s, he wanted me to help take the kayak off the roof of the car and into the storage shed. “But will we miss the fireworks?” I asked. There was a particularly good show off the roof the multi-story apartment building at the end of his block. He laughed, “They’ll be going on all night long.”
Sure enough. We sat on the back porch and watched a lengthy show through the trees. And I mean lengthy. And impressive. These were big fireworks. And lots of them. I kept thinking we had seen the finale, but then there would be another “finale”. T explained that the good displays are put on by the drug dealers as a way of “giving back” to the community. The random little three-firework displays were just the neighbors. The others were dealers. Clearly they’ve got cash.
I just googled “how much do fireworks cost?” and found this: The typical July 4th show budget is $3000 to $20,000. For smaller events, away from the July 4th holiday, we suggest starting at about $3000.
Detroit is a depressed place, but for one night it was magical as dueling fireworks lit up the sky for hours. Thank you drug dealers for giving back for a night.