DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- When the Schapira family gathered for dinner Monday evening on the Dobbs Ferry waterfront, they got the table with the best view. In fact, they brought the table themselves, and set it up on the grass, just a few feet from the Hudson River.
Bonnie Schapira, 68, and her husband Karl, 72, of Dobbs Ferry, and their daughter Gabrielle, 38, who lives in Manhattan, went to Waterfront Park to picnic and watch the fireworks. They were part of a crowd that police estimated at about 3,000.
Schapira pointed to the numbers 1776-1976 stamped on his blue T-shirt, bought 35 years ago to celebrate the independence's 200th anniversary.
"Every time I come down here, which is almost every year, I wear it," he said.
On blankets or lawn chairs, people chatted and read while others barbecue, their tables crowded with food set up under canopies and under trees. Kids played football, baseball and soccer, or just ran around. Hip-hop blasted from two powerful speakers of Rooney Tunes DJ, and a long line formed in front of Jimmy's Soft Serve truck.
It was a day to relax and enjoy the beautiful sight of the river under a led sky. But not everybody had that luxury. Pyrotechnician Tom Bicknell, 58, was the man in charge of preparing the fireworks. Close to 7 p.m, he and his two assistants were still busy connecting the electronic switches for the fireworks finale. He said that peony, diadem and spider were some of the patterns the fireworks would draw on the sky, and that the event was supposed to last 25 minutes.
"We will give them a good show," he said.
He certainly did.
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