JULY 4, 2002
Before you go speeding out of town to some rural backwater with a municipal ordinance that allows for the firing of rocket propelled grenades and whatnot, consider staying in Austin for the big fireworks display down at Zilker Park. Sure, the Zilker celebration is a daunting, 100,000 strong crush of locals, many with a fashion sense that calls into serious question the concept of freedom, but at least you won’t be a frazzled, neurotic mess from ducking bottle rockets and stamping out inadvertent brush fires. While it’s true that nothing exemplifies independence like cutting loose with your own private arsenal of colorful, Chinese-made pyrotechnics, the cost these days is downright staggering. By the time your punk has burned out, your overblown expectations and half your wallet have gone up in smoke. Why not invest those benjamins (be honest, you can’t throw up anything truly impressive for less than a c-note) in a new bandana for the Labrador, some plush lawn chairs, or maybe one of those giant coolers with wheels? That way you can kick back, listen to a little Tchaikovsky and stare up in slack jawed wonder at the brilliant spectacle above. Best of all, like America, it’s free.