The western skies at Hope Municipal Airport at Saturday night's Sparks Fly in July event.
An evening at Hope Municipal Airport that began with the opening of dozens of food trucks, a performance by The Night Hawk Band and the opening of a Kids' Zone progressed through a concert by South Down Main (Jeff Smith's voice is back) and a spectacular fireworks display put on by Hope's Mayor.
People began arriving after 4:00 p.m. at first in a trickle and then in a long line of cars that were shown to spaces on the concrete slab overlooking the airport's runways. Temperatures topped out in the mid-90s, but a steady wind from the southeast made it tolerable for those who came out to enjoy the music, food, bouncy castles
Before the fireworks began, attendees were treated to a spectacular sunset.
Mayor Don Still, longtime producer of Hope fireworks displays said the show would feature about one-third more explosives than last year. In keeping with a tradition, he also incorporated music by the eventual featured musical act at the Hope Watermelon Festival, the Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See," which was also performed by the Night Hawk Band earlier in the evening.
An augmented number of food trucks also came out, several of them local, resulting in fewer long lines for food and much-needed drink.
The fireworks show started at about 8:30 p.m. as a mix of patriotic (John Philip Sousa marches) and feel-good songs (Ray Stevens' "Everything is Beautiful") played loud. The number of ooos and ahhs heard from the crowd testified to the florid beauty in the sky.