We were in Pennsylvania for the 4th of July this year, 2015. We were excited to celebrate Pennsylvania-style. So, Mama Nomad did some research on different venues and we settled on one in the City of Wilkes-Barre, the only hyphenated city in the United States.
There was to be an orchestra, carnival rides, fair type foods and, of course, fire works! This promised to be a great, great time. So we loaded up into Ebony and headed out. We arrived very early in hopes of finding easy parking. It was already starting to fill up. But, we found some parking in a bank parking lot. We whipped in, parked and headed out. We decided to scout things out and then come back to the car for our lawn chairs.
We set out on foot to get the lay of the land. After a short trek, we figured out where everything was and, more importantly, where we wanted to setup our festivity spot. So, we headed back to the car to grab the chairs. We rounded them up and headed back. This is where we ran into our first unscheduled entertainment event of the evening.
As we were walking down the sidewalk, we heard people getting louder and louder. Then we saw a police officer flash his lights and a big crowd disbursed. However two smaller groups persisted; one was taunting the other to start and altercation. We simply kept walking around them and ignored the drama.
We found a spot to setup our fireworks viewing location. It was a short walk to the food, lake and port-a-potties. We setup the chairs. Noah stayed with Mandy and me, Ethan and Trevor set off in search of carnie food. With so much rain lately, the ground was completely saturated, the grass was soggy and the paths were full of mud. But, we trekked on.
We finally got a sampling of dinner foods and sweets and decided to return to our temporary location. We all sat down and settled in to watch the fireworks. They began shortly after taking seat and they were great! The fireworks lasted, what seemed to be, 15 minutes or more. This was an eternity in a fireworks timeframe. When it got to the end, due to be surrounded by mountains and no wind, there was an overabundance of smoke. The smoke was so bad that it was covering up the actual fireworks.
After the finale, we packed up quickly and headed back to Ebony. When we got back to her, we noticed that there was a car parked behind us, in a spot that was clearly not a parking spot. In front of us was a curb. So, what do you think I did? Yep! I backed up a little and drove over the curb! Damn I love having a 4×4 vehicle! We could not leave the way we came in as the Police had it closed off. So we meandered throughout the neighborhoods until we found an exit and a road home. We hit it and we were out of there!
We do not commonly write about things that are less than stellar experiences. However, we believe we owe it to our readers and fans to report the less than optimal along with the optimal to help you understand what, in our opinion, you should and should not do. If you are in the Scranton / Wilkes-Barre area during July 4th, it is our strong opinion that you find another entertainment venue. We enjoyed the celebration of Independence Day. But, it was in spite of, not because of the event we attended. Celebrate your independence and have Safe Travels!