Derry’s Fourth of July celebration went smoothly despite a “packed” crowd at Hood Commons and in other areas, Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas said on Monday.
Hood Commons, the traditional viewing spot for Derry fireworks, hosted a “very large group,” Thomas said. He estimated there were 2,500 people in the shopping center’s parking lot, and others in the parking lots of smaller businesses.
The Fire Department established a perimeter and the police shut down Mount Pleasant and Grinnell roads, so that the fireworks debris would not land on residents.
The egress from the event was slow, Thomas said, with some drivers experiencing a half-hour wait before they exited the area. “We shut down the intersection and controlled the lights by hand,” he said.
But there were no major problems at the event itself, Thomas said.
Throughout the week the department responded to fireworks complaints from Steven Avenue, June 29; North Avenue, June 30; Central Street, July 2; East Broadway, Overlook Drive, Boyd Road, Windham Depot Road, Brian Avenue, Phillip Road and Fordway Extension, July 3; and Juniper Road, Crystal Avenue, Fairway Drive, Hampstead Road, South Avenue, Birch Street and South Avenue, Tsienneto Road, Strawberry Hill, Phillip Road, Forest Ridge and Joseph Street, July 4. On July 5 they responded to Ela Avenue, Jade Court, Pierce Avenue, Goodhue Road and Island Pond, Phillip Road and North Main Street.
This week was also the inaugural week for New Hampshire’s Hands-Free Law, which prohibits the use of electronic devices while driving.
Thomas said since July 1 the department has handed out four “warnings” for Hands-Free, but has not issued any summonses.