Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fireworks in Woodbury

After a two-year hiatus, I'm glad to see Woodbury's traditional fireworks display return this year to celebrate Independence Day. Historically, it wasn't until the early 1900's that Woodbury began organizing a citywide event. Before this time, it was largely a family to family initiative to light up the skies as shown in this 1898 Woodbury Daily Times ad:

1898 ad

In 1910, a committee was formed out of the Woodbury Council No. 31, Order United American Mechanics to raise money for the festivities, but the question of where to hold the event was an issue. Of course we really shouldn't be surprised to find Woodbury's eminent 19th century philanthropist, the Colonel G.G. Green coming to the city's aid when he graciously allowed the use of his land for the site! Read the full announcement printed in a June 22nd issue of the Woodbury Daily Times below.

The entire "monster celebration" was reported on July 5th to be a great success with favorable weather and was considered the largest event for the Fourth of July for the city. It consisted of a baseball game between North and South Woodbury, track and field events with the likes of potato sack races, band concerts, singing, and of course the fireworks at night. Of notable interest, Halley's Comet was also visible in the evening sky! What a celebration it must've been! May this year's celebration be just as fun!
The only reported incident during the festivities was an injury sustained by a 15 year old boy when a cannon he was loading exploded. Thankfully Dr. J. Harris Underwood promptly attended to him: