Fourth of July Fireworks in Narrowsburg, NY
July 3, 2011
The hamlet of Narrowsburg in the town of Tusten, NY is very small. The hamlet, which sits on the banks of the Delaware River that divides New York and Pennsylvania between the Catskills and the Poconos, only had a population of 426 as of the 2007 census.

It is also remote and very rural. From the different directions we came in and headed out, we drove through 15-22 miles of woodlands to and from the nearest cluster of villages. Lakes, ponds, and old barns occasionally came into view as we rolled up and down the hills.

Along the drive in we passed a woman wearing pilgrim-like clothing who gave us a blank stare that I only remember seeing from the Amish in Pennsylvania or from faces in old, black-and-white, turn-of-the-century photographs when photography was then new. We also passed two men in farmer’s overalls who were laughing as they talked, oblivious to our passing by.

Still, once we got into town, the mood turned festive. Red-white-and-blue bunting hung on building facades, volunteers carrying buckets cheerily asked for donations, and restaurants were filled to capacity. The Narrowsburg-Darbytown Bridge which joins the New York and Pennsylvania hamlets of the same names, had families with children running around while waiting for the fireworks display to begin. For such a small town, I thought the turnout was amazing.

Visit Narrowsburg at any other time and it might be just another town struggling to survive in the backwoods. But despite what I imagine to be budgetary constraints and municipal debates, come Fourth of July, it comes alive. Narrowsburg delivers a pyrotechnics display that will dazzle and compete with Macy’s more elaborate ritual in New York City, if not for the pomp and grandeur then for the joys and celebration and uniqueness of living in a small American town.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Delaware River looking east. Vi took this picture.
Delaware River looking west.
Main Street, Narrowsburg, New York.
Narrowsburg-Darbytown Bridge. Vi took this picture.
Families wait above the bridge... (Vi took this picture.)
...and under. Vi took this picture.
A photographer stands at the ready.
Teens by the riverbank. Vi took this picture.
Dusk approaches.
Fireworks! Vi took this picture.
Vi took this picture.
Fireworks is over -- getting ready to go.
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