The 5th sees Boyle Heights Celebrate the 4th

The north end of Hollenbeck Park became the Boyle Heights Bowl as revelers sat grassy slopes to watch fireworks July 5th. The sounds bounced off the rows of Victorian-era homes, post World War II apartment buildings, and the sound wall next to the freeway ramp–– causing ducks to scatter out of the water into the crowd of people sitting on blankets along the rim of the lake.

Before the fireworks, food booths from local vendors and non-profits made a perimeter around the north lawn, leaving room for those to watch the concerts that scheduled mariachis (Roosevelt High School Mariachi Olympico), funk (Backtraxx), swing (Chico Big Band) and salsa (Angel Lebron y Su Sabor Latino) from 4pm. Around 9pm, CD14’s José Huizar lead a countdown to the fireworks show.

Last year’s inaugural celebration was held at Evergreen Park and outgrew the location in the first year, according to Huizar,  whose office organized the event.  While this year’s crowd was larger, there was a still a very local feel to the day. “The biggest sponsor was Shakey’s Pizza,” said the councilman, who earlier from the stage told the crowd he remember anticipating fireworks each year while growing up as a child in Boyle Heights, and wanted to bring them back to the neighborhood.

The 17 minute display was solid and will be well documented, as many took out cell phone cameras to document light reflecting off the lake and towering Mexican Fan Palm trees appear out the dark and smoke in silhouette. Still, the taped music the fireworks show was set to was generic. With all the music from, and about, East L.A. and Boyle Heights, using some would have made the finale to the day even more local.

It’s worth a survey to see what six songs could be edited into 20 minutes that would reflect the neighborhood.

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