My family and I showed up several hours early to find the perfect spot to set up. We went down to the eastside esplanade like usual. I had noticed an unusually large crowd gathered by the bourgie condos and marina near the south end of downtown. But I thought nothing of it as it is usually toward the center of downtown where everyone would have plenty of room to watch for free.
Then the fireworks started. They were down right in front of what turned out to be the blues(consumer) festival. This was at the south end of downtown all the way down by the I-5 bridge! For the majority of the crowds gathered there was a large bridge and/or trees in the way of the show. Half of the people just left pissed off. I wanted to too considering I had a better view from the roof of my house. But my family was really excited to see the fireworks. So we walked over to where they were. It was very crowded and the only places for people to watch from were the bushes or down in the dirt under the bridge. My family and I skidded down the dirt hill and stepped over trash, syringes, and human waste to see the fireworks for free.
I don't know why the decision was made to move the fireworks to the bourgie side of downtown or in front of the blues festival. But my hunch is that it was part of a strategy to boost business for the wealthier side of town and get more people to attend the festival and spend money there by making it unpleasant to watch from a free, comfortable vantage point. Just one more kick in the crotch, fuck you to the majority of us who can't afford that bullshit. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. People on the eastside have been doing a good job of keeping their money in their communities and now that we can watch parades and fireworks on the eastside we have virtually no need of downtown and all it overpriced garbage and gimmicks.
Needless to say, I won't be attending next year's festivities. Of course I'm sure no city officials give a shit because I have no cash to toss into their campaign coffers and the PBA does.