A third of the way up Okemo Mountain in Vermont, you can spread a blanket in a field, recline on your back, and wait for fireworks, which are ignited from across a pond. They seem to spider across the sky much lower than other fireworks that I’ve seen; they seem touchable and more thrilling. And because you’re on a mountain, the noise booms and echoes and sometimes even makes your ribcage hum.

In true Vermont fashion, Okemo’s Fourth of July fireworks are small-scale. But you can smell the trees all around, and it’s neither hot nor crowded.

In Simply From Scratch, Okemo is sort of a sub-setting. Some key scenes take place there, in both winter and spring. It’s been a getaway destination for me for years; I ski there in the winter, hike in the summer. Some of my favorite memories take place on a certain back deck in Plymouth, just a few towns from Okemo. I suppose it makes sense that such an important place in my life would find its way into my first novel.

Anyway, I’d love to know: What’s your favorite place to see fireworks?

~Alicia Bessette

P.S. Happy Fourth!

7 Replies to “Okemo”

  1. My least favorite place to see fireworks is here in Iquitos,Peru. On Independence Day (28 July) and New Year’s Eve it seems like just about every block has its own little fireworks show. The problem is that something like half the houses here have thatch roofs. The fire department is very busy those two nights.
    The best, and biggest, fireworks show I ever saw was at the 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver. It was spectacular.

  2. My dog hates fireworks, too, Kathy! The most beautiful place was Garden City, South Carolina–we were on the beach, and it seemed that every coastal town within twenty miles had their own fireworks display, so we were watching about seven different fireworks displays all along the beach–just stunning!

    Alicia, Okemo sounds so serene and lovely! Can’t wait to read the book!

  3. I spent 4th of July at the Jersey Shore with my family and boyfriend. My parents have a house on the bay, and from our back deck, we were able to simultaneously watch fireworks going off in Cape May, Wildwood, Stone Harbor, and Ocean City. They were a little far away, but it felt like I was in multiple places at once. So beautiful!

  4. I love watching fireworks from the rooftop of my apartment in Brooklyn. When the Macys fireworks were on the East River, we had a perfect view of the entire display. The last 2 years they changed to the Hudson river, but you can still see the tall fireworks launch up over the NYC skyline. We’re moving at the end of the month, but I might just keep a key to my old building so we can come back every year on July 4…

  5. Sounds like a lovely place! BTW, in my first novel (out in one year), I set my story on Bainbridge, Island, Washington, a stone’s throw from where I grew up and one of my favorite places on earth. xoxo

  6. I remember one year my husband and I drove toward the WAshington Monument for the huge fireworks show, but instead of dealing with traffic, parking, etc., we just pulled off the road and watched from the street, sitting on the hood of the car. Lots of other folks did the same, and we all had a great time. Plus we didn’t have to spend hours getting home!

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