If you don’t live in or near the Marina, or have access to Colombian helicopters, chances are you weren’t there last night for their July 4th bash. I was there, and am happy to report that July 4th patriotism is alive and well, as long as you define patriotism as Woodstock meets Mardi Gras with an American flag backdrop.
Along with the spectacular fireworks show that takes place in the Marina itself, there were a couple of major block parties, and dozens of smaller unofficial ones, in the residential streets between the Marina Channel and Washington Boulevard, within a couple of blocks of the beach.
But getting there by car was no picnic, as the police began blocking off streets as early as 1 p.m.
The block party I went to was done right, complete with a band. Most everyone had a drink in their hand, and the sweet smell of spliffs permeated the air.
People filled the balconies, Mardi Gras style. Show us your … flags?
The police presence was massive, and we saw at least three arrests.
When darkness fell, it was just a few blocks south along the street or the beach to get a great view of the fireworks. The display, by the famed Zambelli Pyrotechnics, was spectacular, as always.
One wasted woman on the balcony above us kept asking the crowd whether we were ready for the grand finale. I guess she’s a destination rather than journey type of gal. Anyway, the finale finally came, and it was pretty freakin’ awesome.
Some time later, Washington Boulevard heading east from the beach was a complete parking lot, as were the streets leading from the Marina out to Washington. Bike riders fared much better, and enjoyed riding along the streets closed to traffic.
All in all, July 4th at the Marina was a blast. Maybe next year, the generous folks who throw the block party will throw in a couple of those Colombian helicopters as well.