PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Thousands of people flocked to India Point Park for the capital city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display Thursday.
The display is recognized by many as one of the largest fireworks displays in Rhode Island and one that attracts thousands of people every year.
For David Booth and his 17-month-old daughter Alyson, this year’s display is extra special.
“Just for her to actually be able to pay attention for the first time and see all the bright colors,” Booth said. “You can’t beat anything like that, greatest feeling in the world, really.”
Booth said he plans to make the night a tradition for his family.
“I’m all about family things, so being a first-time father I want to keep carrying on the traditions that my family passed on to me, and pass them on to her.”
But for many – including Nuno Branco and his dog Buddah – the fireworks display is already a tradition.
Branco said he and his dog have seen the India Point Park fireworks every year since the city began hosting it.
“We always bring the dog along,” Branco said. “He loves meeting people, it’s a big tradition.”
Members of the Providence Fire and Police Departments also attended the event to ensure everyone celebrated safely.
“It’s not just regular patrol,” Col. Hugh Clements said. “We know that people feel safe when there’s a big police presence.
Traffic was at a stand-still for about an hour after the fireworks ended. Police blocked off several nearby roads, including Point Street, parts of India and Gano Streets and the Gano Street Exit off I-195 East.
Some spectators leaving India Point Park had to drive through downtown just to get to Fox Point.
Hundreds of drivers stopped along I-195 East and West as multiple displays of fireworks lit up the sky overlooking Narragansett Bay, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to travel through the sea of parked cars.