NORTH ANDOVER — The Fourth of July is extremely serious business in North Andover.
Right off the bat, one needs to understand that this town has been around for a long time —130 years before the Declaration of Independence. Officially, North Andover was incorporated in 1855, but it was actually SETTLED in 1646.
So how did this town come to be known as North Andover while its neighbor obtained the distinction of being called Andover? That’s another story for another day.
At any rate, when North Andoverites celebrate the Fourth, they don’t just light a few firecrackers, drink a few beers and have a barbecue. For many years, they have enlivened the Merrimack Valley with the two-day Fourth of July Festival.
The highlight is the fireworks display, which will begin shortly after sunset the night of July 3. The pyrotechnics will be launched at North Andover Middle School and can be seen from miles around.
Good viewing spots include the historic Common in the old center, where the other Fourth of July Festival activities will take place, Kittredge School near Main Street and Route 125 and North Andover High School.
The show will be happening this year thanks to a $5,000 donation from the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, whose North Andover branch opened at the beginning of the year.
“We want to be a community partner,” said Susan deMari, senior vice president for marketing at the Lowell 5, who presented a check to the selectmen Monday night.
Linda Firth, assistant vice president and manager of the bank’s North Andover branch, said she has fond memories of watching the North Andover fireworks with her family during her youth.
Local developer Louis Minicucci, who leases the 498 Chickering Road site to the Lowell 5, was very instrumental in arranging the donation for the fireworks, according to Jeffrey Coco, co-chairman of the Festival Committee.