Just as it was before the Fourth, neighborhood opinion seems to be split on whether last night’s fireworks in Winnemac Park were a good thing or a bad thing.
“I don’t want to be a killjoy, but you’re scaring the bejeezus out of children and dogs,” said park neighbor Dave Lundy this morning. “What I want to know is what it will take for the city to consider this a problem?”
“Last night, the best place in town for fireworks wasn’t Navy Pier. It wasn’t North Avenue Beach. It was Winnemac Park,” wrote neighbor Kate Silver on her blog this morning.
A Chicago Police spokesman said there were no arrests or reported disturbances at the park last night. People who attended the fireworks said they were going well into the night, past 11:00 p.m. on numerous ballfields, while Chicago Police squad cars stood by visibly in the park and a neighborly atmosphere settled over the spectators.
Center Square Journal writer Patty Wetli attended the fireworks and says there were, “Easily hundreds, possibly more,” spectators watching the unofficial show.
“The fireworks were quite impressive this year and we really enjoyed them,” said Jennifer Thornbury, who watched with her husband. “People brought their kids, dogs, blankets and lawnchairs. Everything went smoothly, people were friendly and chatted with their neighbors. We felt very safe and secure and hope the fireworks are allowed to continue each year.”
Chris Jansen, who shot photos of the fireworks last night said, “There were a few misfires as you’d expect and a few people who’d had a little too much to drink. But overall, it was a great crowd and a lot of people enjoying the show and getting to talk to their neighbors.”
This morning the park ballfields were strewn with piles of spent fireworks casings, beer cans and broken bottles.
“No ambulances showed up, so it’s safe to assume no fingers were lost, no eyes blown out. This was a great Fourth,” said Silver.