No need for fireworks soundtrack

By Kurt Kelly

As a recent transplant to the area (moved to Mahomet from Florida in May) I was looking forward to experiencing Champaign’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration. That is, until I came across an article telling of the background music playlist for the fireworks. The list contains 15 good ol’ patriotic songs suitable for a theme park, or possibly a NASCAR event.

I have to ask, when did it become mandatory for civic fireworks displays to include an obnoxious, blaring soundtrack? One would think that the glorious booming display of professional pyrotechnics would suffice on their own. Do we really need musical accompaniment playing continually during the fireworks? Whatever happened to simply letting the fireworks be the show, and nothing but hushed ‘oohs and aahhs’ between the explosions? Has our society become so obsessed and addicted to constant media stimulus that we cannot even enjoy a half hour fireworks show without the obligatory soundtrack?

Moreover, I had always thought that the original intent of Independence Day fireworks was to symbolize the sights and sounds of the battlefield. I highly doubt that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers who bravely served and fought in the World Wars had, needed, nor wanted media entertainment to enhance their war time experience. I hardly think that cheesy songs by Lee Greenwood and Neil Diamond honor those vets.

That being said, I will avoid the official observation areas where I will be assailed with a barrage of constant amplified media entertainment. Instead, I will find a place off the beaten path where I can observe the show, without being subject to the media assault.