Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

There Was Something In The Air Last Night At OSV

Last night the family , and I, went to Old Sturbridge Village for the fourth annual 4th of July celebration, and the fireworks.  This has become a great new family tradition.

We pulled into the parking lot about 5:45, and were led to the far back lot, and instructed to park in such a manner that would make for an easy egress when the fireworks concluded.

That easy egress didn't happen.  We waited 45 minutes, in one spot without moving more than 20 feet.  The event may be top notch, but shuttling thousands of cars out of one exit makes for a bottleneck of massive proportions, and this year was no different despite the Sturbridge Police, and the OSV employees directing traffic. 

The fireworks never disappoint, and this year was no different.  The show was fantastic.

The village opened its gates at 6 :00 PM, and since we did not have a cooler in tow, we were allowed to enter at the entrance next to the security office.  This turned out to be quiet a bonus since we arrived in front of the meeting house a minute or so before the Main Gate was open, and the crowd was lead into the village by the huge campaign ball, soldiers, and musicians.

We settled our chairs on the Common, in front of the stage where a blue grass band played, and listened to the music before wandering off to watch the juggler, and listen to Senator Steven Brewer deliver the Declaration of Independence from atop a wooden platform as was done 175 years ago in villages, and towns around the country on The Fourth.

After the reading, I made a detour to one of the tents set up on the Common, and introduced myself to Sam Adams in a plastic cup, and to Pinot Grigio on behalf of Mary.

The road leading to the fireworks viewing area in the back fields near the Freeman Farm were scheduled to open at 7:30.  We lined up in about 15 minutes before, and bought a few ice cream cones at the window conveniently located beside us.  Cherry Amaretto Chocolate.  Almost as good as the Sam's.

The back fields were freshly mowed, and filled up quickly.  There were several porta-johns, but after awhile, judging from the long lines, they were far too few.  I took my grandson back to the Bullard Tavern to use the restroom there after waiting in line for 15 minutes at the restrooms near the blacksmith.

At 9:15 the fireworks began, and flew into the sky over the  village for 30 minutes of multiple volleys, and singular gargantuan explosions over the fields of corn.

The crowd loved it.  We loved it.  There was a few times I caught myself "ahhhing" with everyone else around me.  It is easy to be taken in by fireworks.

At the conclusion of the fireworks display, was the finale, which is always the grand cap to a wonderful evening at OSV.  This year was no different.

Next year I hope they have two entrances leaving the parking lot, and allow folks to park at the OSV education parking lot off Old Sturbridge Village Road, and direct the traffic out towards I-84, and Old Route 15 at the end of the evening.  Sitting in ones car longer than the fireworks display lasted was certainly not the highlight of anyones night.

Thank you, OSV, again, it was a great evening.


  1. I agree the fireworks were the best yet by OSV but not spectacular by any stretch. They were a good evenings entertainment. I was shocked to see cars still exiting OSV at 10:30 !!!!!!

  2. Certainly not a megamillion Boston production, but for us, in Sturbridge, they were great. Parking is a major issue, and having only one exit for hundreds of cars to leave by is asking for a world of waiting. We got home at 10:45, and I live 1.5 miles away. The other issue is the porta-johns. The lines were way too long for them. The number of them were far to few for the size f the crowd. They have to have the same number of them up at the common, as down at the fields since the venue shifts mid evening with the same number of people. They shouldn't order four, and then put two on the common, ad two out back. They needed ten in each place.


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