The Harwich Cranberry Harvest Festival is the highlight of the year for my hometown on Cape Cod. When I was a kid, it was the biggest week of the year. It had everything from a beach party to a huge parade to fireworks to a giant fair, complete with ferris wheel and more arts and crafts than Martha Stewart's Connecticut estate.
The festival revolves around, you guessed it, the harvesting of cranberries. About this time every year, cranberry growers across Southeastern New England flood their cranberry bogs and harvest the tart red berries. Harwich has many bogs, some of which supply Ocean Spray.
This year, though, the festival will be void of fireworks. That's because the town water department sent a threatening letter to the town board of selectmen saying that the fireworks contain a water comanimant, perchlorate, and that, IF it's detected in the ground water, it could cost millions. What the water department (of which my old cross-country coach, Don Bates, is the commissioner) didn't ask beforehand was whether the fireworks company could make fireworks without perchlorate, which they can. Now, the company refuses to make the fireworks, saying they don't want to get sued.
And I wonder why my parents wanted to leave that town so badly.