The downtown Paterson area lit up with thousands of people, rides, music, and good food as Patersonians gathered around to celebrate Independence Day weekend.
Children, parents, even grandparents showed up to the fireworks extravaganza. One woman arrived at the event at 12pm bringing her nephews with her. They waited on lines to ride the Ferris wheel and other exciting contraptions. She was not returning home until the conclusion of the fireworks show.
The band sang and played music ranging from Pop to Jazz as a few kids and adults danced along. Vendors sold food, accessories, and other knick-knacks. Tables and chairs were also set up to allow people to eat, sit, and enjoy the celebration.
James Dykes, an organizer of the event, told us that this was the 10th year for fireworks and the 3rd year for the party involving music and food. The event was sponsored by Downtown Paterson Special Improvement District and the rides were sponsored by Center City Mall.
Sheri Ferreira, director of Downtown Paterson Special Improvement District, emphasized the need for Patersonians to support local downtown businesses.
Jeffery Jones, the mayor of Paterson, took center stage as he danced along to “Say My Name” by Rihanna featuring Drake. He then proceeded to energize the crowd by saying “What town is this?” After a brief song the mayor started the countdown to the fireworks show.
Patersonians looked to the sky for the fireworks but none could be found. “Look there it is,” a man pointed to the other side of the street. Everyone pushed to see the spectacular fireworks as many took out their phones and cameras to take pictures.
“Amidst the toughest of times Paterson will have a bad rep [reputation] but we found a way to bring family together,” said Mr Jones.
Although a good number of Patersonians could not make it to the event many looked to the night sky for the fireworks. In some way it had brought everyone together.