Sunday, July 10, 2011


Archusa Water Park near Quitman, Mississippi is a beautiful setting for Saturday Evening Fireworks. The exotically named Archusa Creek which feeds the reservoir conjures images of past civilizations gathered around campfires as it winds its way through the rural East Central Mississippi landscape.

On this, the second day of July, the deceptively serene landscape is but prelude to the roiling boisterous Independence Day Celebration observed annually at the park. Looking Northwest one could hardly believe the restful quiet will soon be shattered by three inch titanium salutes wound tight enough to startle the most hardy of those early occupants of this land as they explode in thousands of tiny stars three hundred plus feet in the sky.

As the Sun sets in the West excitement builds in the gathering crowd. Children and adults, men and women share in the anticipation of the upcoming show. They have little understanding of the time and energy expended to plan, organize, and shoot this eleven to twelve minute show. They only know that the brightly colored stars and loud explosions bring energy and pleasure even during the dreary economic times they face.

As the crowd, of several thousand, continues to gather; even the threat of rain is no deterrent to their enjoyment. The band two hundred yards away fills the air with music to stir the patriotic fervor and add a distinctive Clarke County flavor to the festivities. The enticing aroma of hamburgers grilling in the shelter manned by the local volunteer fire department permeates the area as it wafts on gentle breezes throughout the park. The set up complete, all simply await full darkness AND...


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