“Some of the houseboats stay lashed together,” says area resident Lynne Boone. “It can get pretty tricky when they’re going down the river three-wide.” Especially if (as in years past) one of them includes a second, upper deck top-heavy with partiers. “I don’t know if it’s fun or dangerous or both, but they certainly seem to be having a good time,” says Boone.
Locals can thank area residents Meredith Smith and his wife, Charlotte, for starting the tradition. Though Meredith died in 2008, Charlotte and her two children continue to organize the fireworks, which are paid for strictly through donations. The 2015 edition cost around $16,000 and lasted more than an hour. “It’s a challenge to put on a better show every year,” says Charlotte.
Want to attend this year’s event on July 3? If you can’t wrangle an invite from an area resident, try the White River Yacht Club, which often opens to the public for the show. “We sit on eight acres, so there’s plenty of room to spread out and watch,” says general manager Jason Luke. Heck, when they do open, they even offer a buffet. Party on.