Storms postpone fireworks in some towns

By Taylor Adams
Globe Correspondent / July 4, 2011

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Storms expected to roll through the area yesterday put a damper on plans for yearly pre-Independence Day celebrations as several towns postponed fireworks displays last night.

Fireworks in Danvers; Haverhill; Portsmouth, N.H.; and a joint celebration put on by Lynn and Swampscott were postponed until tomorrow, according to police in those communities. A fireworks display in North Andover planned for last night was also postponed and not yet rescheduled as of yesterday afternoon.

“Obviously it’s more fun to have them on the [night before the holiday],’’ said Danvers Family Festival committee chairwoman Irene Kucinski. “We do our best, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’re out of luck,’’ she said.

Kucinski said that Danvers has postponed fireworks before, most recently in 2009, and that safety concerns involving quickly clearing large crowds in the event of dangerous lightning were the main considerations in postponing the fireworks.

Additionally, she said, organizers are mindful of the fact that dreary weather and cloudy skies offer less than ideal viewing conditions.

“You don’t want to just see a little colorful cloud up there,’’ she said, “You want to actually go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah.’ ’’

North Andover Selectman Bill Gordon said the decision to postpone that town’s fireworks was also safety-related. “Thunder and lightning, people hanging out in an open field, probably not a good idea,’’ he said.

He said the town plans to hold the fireworks sometime next weekend pending confirmation that the site and production company are available.

“It’s definitely postponed and not canceled,’’ he said.

“It just seemed like the most prudent decision to make,’’ he said, “to have them when we know it will be much nicer out and when people can enjoy them.’’

Today may also be somewhat less than optimal for patriotic pyrotechnics.

The holiday will be drier - at least during the day. Weather is expected to be in the 80s and humid, with sunny skies and a faint breeze, according to the National Weather Service.

Unfortunately for outdoor revelers and fans of fireworks, showers may return by the evening.

“The activity will be much more hit and miss,’’ said Hayden Frank of the National Weather Service. “Much of the region will not see anything, but when these showers do develop, there’s a risk for lightning. We’ll have to keep an eye on the radar.’’

Kucinski said Danvers’s postponement presented an inconvenience for festival-goers and organizers alike.

She said volunteers had been spreading word about the rescheduling online and on social networking sites and that she had posted notices on community boards and asked the local supermarket to help get the news out.

“We want to have everybody come out on Tuesday night,’’ she said. “We have a great show, we always do.’’