City Celebrates brought out couples and families, and all the animated characters and artists, that filled downtown New Bedford with merrymaking on New Year's Eve. Then with a loud boom and a sudden flash of lights, the sky over the harbor was painted with a red coating from within the clouds, caused by the fireworks exploding above the low cloud blanket that acted like a lid.

One of the biggest letdowns for fireworks spectators is when the weather is foggy and the hazy clouds are low, because it limits how much of the actual fireworks you can see. Since New Bedford is a port city, we must also deal with marine layer clouds, which are very low altitude clouds that form over the ocean.

So why have fireworks if you can't see them?

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The decision to go forward with the fireworks or not didn't come easy. In most cases, a contract is signed with an alternative day given, but the next night called for heavier rain, so that wouldn't work.

It was a Catch-22: either shoot them off on a foggy New Year's Eve or not have any fireworks at all. Plus, more than likely, the deposit money wouldn't have been refunded to Bristol County Savings Bank, which paid for them.

"Despite the unfortunate weather, there remained no better time for the fireworks than Friday night," said Mike Lawrence, spokesperson for the City of New Bedford. "The entire weekend looked cloudy, so the City decided to conduct the show as planned, when crowds already were downtown for City Celebrates and everyone was excited to ring in the New Year."

Other cities call fireworks in the fog "May Gray," "June Gloom" and "No-Sky July." How about if New Bedford calls it "New Year's Eve Shore Leave?"

"It was a great, safe way to welcome 2022, clouds and all," Lawrence said.

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