Throngs of people gathered in the center of Monroe on Friday night to kick off their holiday weekend festivities. The smell of BBQ food engulfed you as you neared the town gazebo, and rhythmic melodies of the Mighty Spectrum Band could be heard as far as Wallie’s Ice Cream Parlor.
Blankets and lawn chairs covered grassy sections along the ponds, where families watched from the sidelines as kids ran around the fields, playing catch and tag and blowing bubbles.
A tranquil lull hovered as the sun set behind the trees, silence in anticipation of the first loud boom.
And finally, in the dusk, bright colors painted the dark sky, sparking cheers over and over. Then when light eruptions ceased and the smoke began to settle, the town seemed still for just a moment before chaos ensued as everyone tried to make it home.