Out on the lake, small boats with their bright running lights flashing, gathered for the show.
I had decided not to bring my big camera, only my cell phone; I wanted to be a participant in this holiday ritual, not an observer.
And so, finally, around 10:30 pm, it was dark enough for the show to begin; the crowd responded with appropriate "oohs" and "aaahs" as the sparks fell.
But soon it was obvious something was amiss out on the water. On the barge where the fireworks were being launched, flames leaped up. Once these seemed to have been doused; then even more flames jumped higher.
As the fireworks display moved into what seemed a crescendo of falling rockets, it became obvious that the barge itself was burning vigorously.
Here's an account from the local news:
So nobody was hurt. And the crowd was cheerfully good-natured throughout. Still, the incident suggested all sorts of metaphors about the national day that I don't much want to spell out.