July 9, 2015

Acton Fireworks

This past weekend we saw the July 4th fireworks in Acton, Massachusetts. They shoot them off at NARA Park around 9:30pm.

We parked the car at an off-site parking lot at Nagog Woods. There were plenty of parking when we arrived at 7pm. It was a quick walk to the first pickup spot. We weren't that familiar with the area and thought that the bus was the best way to NARA Park. In the future, we would research if walking would be a better option.

NARA Park

This was a very nice family friendly park. There is a nice fresh water beach where you can go swimming. There is an enclosed playground with all sorts of slides and climbing equipment where kids can play. This is great to keep kids busy while waiting for the fireworks to go off.

I didn't know anything about the park. NARA Park, the Nathaniel Allen Recreation Area, is located at 25 Ledge Rock Way in Acton and operated by the Town of Acton Recreation Department. The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and staffed seasonally from Memorial Day weekend through late August.

Picking the Perfect Spot

When we arrived, it wasn't clear where the fireworks were going to be launched from, as some people thought it would be over the pond. The fireworks are actually fired near the baseball field on the opposite side of where you enter NARA Park.

To get an awesome view of the show, you are better off walking the distance towards the hill. However keep in mind the further you walk away from the entrance only means that you'll have to walk all that way back after the show with a large crowd.

We watched the fireworks near the playground and beach area. However, it appeared that the best spot to watch the fireworks was up on the hill just beyond the pond. There were some low level fireworks that would have been better to see up on the hill or on the other side of the hill.

Show Time

The fireworks show was great, it started around 9:30 and finished just before 10. People were marking their spots around 7pm. Just about everyone was sitting down during the whole thing.

The show lasted about 25 minutes and featured all sorts of different types fireworks. You could hear the usual "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs" and the occasional cheering for people's favorite firework.

It Would Have Been Better if...

The only complaint that I have about the show was how hard it was to get back to the official off-site parking lot. The organizers had only seven buses running. As a result, it took several bus trips before everyone could clear out. People were pushing and shoving just to get a spot on the bus. So much for the family friendly aspect.

Things didn't get any better once you arrive at the parking area, it was a traffic mess of everyone trying to get out at the same time. Police were doing their best to keep the traffic moving, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

Had we known about the walking we might have walked

One solution to this would be to have additional buses plus two areas for off-site parking. This would help break up the rush at the end of the show, and keep the crowds moving within the park and on the various main streets around Acton.

It's a fun show and I would recommend going. It certainly would be interesting to see what changes the town does in 2016. We didn't do the all day activity but it looks like that's a way to have a great fireworks day.

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