VIDEO: Click here to see video of the wedding at home plate and The World-Herald fireworks show.
Click here to see a photo showcase of the home run derby and fireworks show.
Thousands of spectators watched a kaleidoscope of color explode across north downtown Tuesday night, ushering in the Independence Day holiday for the Omaha area.
The annual World-Herald fireworks show drew plenty of cheers from inside TD Ameritrade Park, from boats on the Missouri River and from the top level of a downtown parking garage.
“You can see just as much here as you can in the stadium,'' said Kristi Bequette, 59, of Carter Lake. She sat on a folding chair at the foot of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, where hundreds gathered to watch the show.
The display started at 10:49 p.m., about 35 minutes later than expected due to the length of the college Home Run Derby inside the ballpark, said Joel Long, a World-Herald spokesman.
But it was worth the wait for most.
“It's wonderful and I try to see it every year,'' Bequette said.
Kathy Keiser, 54, of Waterloo, Neb., had a good vantage point on the bridge — “and there's a breeze up here,'' she noted.
Young families with small children in strollers and teenage couples made up much of the north downtown crowd watching the show. Many stood on the bridge and recorded the pyrotechnics with their cellphones.
The 22-minute show, the largest in the metro area, was produced by J&M Displays.
Sparks of a different sort flew earlier in the evening when local sports enthusiasts Shannon Kennedy and Matt Dill decided to get married at home plate, with 22,403 witnesses.
And there are those who don't get so fired up about fireworks.
Marv Cameron of Council Bluffs has lived in the metro area for two decades, but it's old hat to him.
“Fireworks are fireworks,” he said.
Cameron, however, noted that plenty of people are interested in the pretty explosions — TD Ameritrade Park was almost full despite the oppressive heat.
“People would walk over a pile of dead cows to get to fireworks,” he said at the ballpark.
Sara and Chris Maxon of Omaha have brought their two sons to the fireworks show the past two years.
Oscar, 6, and Grant, 2, also enjoyed the Home Run Derby. Oscar, wearing his favorite shark shirt, had come directly from his own baseball game.
“We do love Fourth of July,” Sara Maxon said. “It's summer, it's laid-back, plus it's about our country and our freedom.”
Contact the writer:
Video of The World-Herald Fourth of July fireworks show