Portsmouth fireworks go off at 9:30 p.m.

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PORTSMOUTH — Get your lawn chairs, sparklers and glow sticks ready. It's time for Escobar Farms' Fourth of July fireworks display.

"We fire them off at 9:30," said Louis Escobar, who's been providing the display for 25 years over the cow pastures at his Middle Road farm.

Mr. Escobar's been using mainly private donations — he has a milk can in front of his farm at 133 Middle Road — to fund the display. "We've never sought corporate sponsorship," he said. "When the economy took a dip, it's been a little painful here but we managed not to sell the farm and we've held the fireworks every year."

This year, whoever, the event got a boost when the Portsmouth 375th Steering Committee — which is co-hosting this year's display — presented a grateful Mr. Escobar with a $1,000 check as well as two more milk cans to collect donations. The cans will be emptied Wednesday, July 3, with the money going to the farm. They will remain available through July 10 to collect donations for next year's fireworks.

"This one should be at least as good as we've had before, and maybe even a little better," said Mr. Escobar, who was chosen to be grand marshall at the 375th parade on Labor Day weekend.

As always, spectators are advised not to clog Middle Road with cars. "The fireworks can be observed from almost anywhere from within a few miles," Mr. Escobar said.

Just don't show up at the farm itself. Although he invites his family and friends to the farm every Fourth of July, "for insurance reasons, we can't open it up to the public."

Will he dress as Uncle Sam, as he's done in the past? "I have every intention."

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.