Portsmouth fireworks moved to Saturday

Portsmouth fireworks moved to Saturday

Louis Escobar, here posing with a friend, dresses up in Patriotic garb for every Independence Day. “I’m Uncle Sam’s brother,” he says. Photo by Richard W. Dionne Jr.

PORTSMOUTH — Mother Nature has other plans for Louis Escobar’s fireworks, which he had originally planned to shoot from his Highland Farm Friday night, July 4.

“Listening to the weatherman, Saturday looks a little more realistic,” the dairy farmer said Tuesday.

That was confirmed today when Portsmouth police announced that the fireworks were being moved to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 5.

The extended weather forecast calls for showers on Friday, perhaps even a tropical storm that’s drifting northward into Southern New England.

As he does every year, Mr. Escobar is hiring a crew to set the fireworks off and asks the public for monetary support since he doesn’t use corporate sponsorship. He keeps a milk can outside the farm at 133 Middle Road, although donations have dwindled in recent year.

“They’re OK. People are donating and we hope to have another nice show,” he said.

As always, spectators are advised not to clog Middle Road with cars. The rockets’ red glare can be seen from nearly anywhere within a few miles from the dairy farm.

There will be a partial to full road closure on Middle Road, from Hedly Street to Stubtoe Lane, from 7 to 10 p.m. for the fireworks display, according to Portsmouth police. Parking will be limited and travel will be restricted, so drivers are asked to seek alternative routes.

“The only surprise will be rain. But everything else is basically the same,” said Mr. Escobar, who always dresses in patriotic garb on Independence Day.

“I’m Uncle Sam’s brother,” he said.

NAACP observance

The Newport County branch of the NAACP will hold its annual wreath-laying ceremony honoring the “First Rhode Island Regiment, The Black Regiment,” at 9 a.m. Friday, July 4, at Patriots Park.

The park is located at the intersection of routes 114 and 24.

The former Newport mayor and Patriots Park development project coordinator, Paul Gaines, will be the guest speaker.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Reading of Declaration

Also on Friday, citizens of all ages are invited to join Portsmouth resident Anne B. Wagner for a public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Meet at 9:30, rain or shine, at the Blue Star Memorial Garden on the grounds of the Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 East Main Road. (The library building will be closed that day as well as Saturday, July 5.) Each person is encouraged to read aloud a marked section of the document. Copies will be provided.

Ms. Wagner said reading the historic document reminds everyone of the bold action of Colonial citizens who did not anticipate fighting a war, but only sought relief from a dictatorial government.

“This is the document that set us on the road to a unique form of government, a union of large and small colonies each having representation,” she said.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 683-3272.