Fireworks Display Triples Small-Town Population
"The Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America" more than tripled the population of Alachua.
The city of Alachua's 4th of July fireworks entertained close to 30,000-- a dramatic jump in the number of visitors from previous years.
"We started doing it in the neighborhood, fireworks in an organized fashion," said Bill Gillick of Alachua, who's seen his small-town firework show grow into an event that packs a 50-acre parking field.
"Our favorite part is doing the fireworks but is seeing the people just enjoy them," he said.
At least one out-of-towner however, didn't come for the fireworks.
"My grandmother is going to sing the anthem," said Jennifer Tavares, 6, of Massachusetts, who will hear her grandmother perform for the first time.
"It's very emotional for me of course-she's just a delight, and we're thrilled to have her here," said Antoinette Hunt, who has been opening the show with the National Anthem for more than 10 years.
"As patriotic as we are, we wanted to share our patriotism with her," she said.
For many however, the 4th of July is more than the fireworks.
"How many people that are still oversees and can't be here to enjoy it with us... basically are doing that to allow us to be able to do this," said Gallick.
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