July 2012 presented the opportunity to join the family in Door County, WI to celebrate our nation’s birth. As one of the top summer destinations for those in Wisconsin and Illinois, we knew there would be fireworks and festivities. What we found was a true slice of “Americana” and wonderful mid-west hospitality.
The day started with an old fashion parade down the main street of Bailey’s Harbor, WI. This town of 1,003 attracted quite the turn out from locals and tourists alike. It was everything you would expect from an area filled with white picket fences, quaint motels and rustic homes nestled in the lush green foliage that borders Lake Michigan. Tractors pulled large hay wagons with homemade floats on top. Pickup truck beds carried the local Boy Scouts as they waived and threw candy to the crowd. Convertibles carried the mayor, queen of the parade and other local dignitaries proudly perched as they waived to the excited on-lookers. It seemed like we had stepped back to a past era, many decades away from the Art Deco, beach crowd of our South Florida home.
That night the weather gods dampened our evening fireworks plans with rain showers abound. The little township, determined to celebrate our independence, patiently waited for a brief clearing and then lit the fuse. Back at motel, we were able to see the display from across the harbor…and mostly from under an unknown neighbor’s open patio cover. Eventually, those renting that particular room came back to find our huddled, rain-soaked mass. In the typical small-town friendly spirit, they smiled, opened their slider and joined our make-shift party.
I was able to make this image looking over the harbor to the main downtown area. The rain left a wonderful puddle that I was able to use as a reflection in the foreground. Our car headlights added an extra element by awakening the outline of shore-line chairs in the left side of the scene. A long exposure allowed the trail and burst to be colorfully captured.
Enjoy this 4th of July, remember all that our Founding Fathers wanted us to have and find a group of people to share it with…even if you are tucked under a borrowed patio cover of some wonderful new friends.
Single Frame, Processed in LR