small town, big show

Since I was back in Arizona last Fourth of July, my only experience with Palm Springs' Independence Day fireworks show was watching it from the balcony at The Desert Sun during a Saturday night shift.

But this year, the Fourth fell on one of my normal days off, so I was determined to see my hometown fireworks show all up close and personal at the ballpark — and I was blown away.

I'm sure there were plenty of shows across the country tonight that were cooler in a technical sense, with bigger, brighter or louder bursts, but sitting in the outfield at Palm Springs Stadium and seeing the fireworks explode pretty much right overhead was so cool.

On my walk home, I realized that being able to be so close to the fireworks was emblematic of many other things that made tonight one of my all-time favorite Fourth of July fireworks experiences — all those small-town touches that I love about Palm Springs.

Tonight, Stacy and I walked to the old spring training stadium where the hometown baseball team had just won their game, sat down on the outfield grass and looked up to see the fireworks explode in sync to the music that wasn't just played over the loudspeakers at the ballpark but also broadcast over KDES, the local oldies station. And after the stadium lights came back on, we ran into a couple people we knew as we headed back home.

There's a lot to be said for big-city fireworks, even if you're watching them from a faraway rooftop or parking garage, but I totally love the little big town atmosphere of Palm Springs, and tonight was just another reason why.