Saturday marked the celebration of the 4th of July here in Exeter, festivities which were accompanied by a festival and a display of fireworks. Unfortunately, many Exeter students were away on trips that day, but the few who stayed on campus went to town to experience the festival, and it appears that the students enjoyed it thoroughly.

The students didn’t really know what to expect, as Hector Plezé said “I have no idea of what it’s going to be or look like, but I’m really exited to go and find out.”

It seems that once they did go find out, the students enjoyed the event, Hamza Marrakchi telling me “I was surprised by the festival because I didn’t think it would be so big and have so many stands. Some were very interesting and I liked the food a lot.” He talked about his favorite stands: “My favorite part of the festival was how they re-created the Revolutionary era with the costumes and the tents. I didn’t really have an image of how people looked like at that time, so it was nice to “go back in time” and see it for myself.”

Cameron Syed was a bit disappointed: “I thought that way the people dressed up was really nice and realistic, but I was disappointed overall with the festival because I thought that there weren’t enough things to do there. For me, a festival has to have a lot of activities and that wasn’t really the case on Saturday.” I asked him what he thought could be done to improve the festival and he told me “I don’t have a specific idea in mind, but maybe having less “information” stands and more stands in which we can participate in an activity or have something to do”.

Personally, I thought the event was quite surprising. Although I arrived towards the end, I found that the scale on which they had remade XVIII century life was impressing. The historical precision of the costumes and the tents made the festival very enjoyable, and made me feel like I was walking through a Revolutionary village.

Sadly, I missed out on many of the stands, but from the students I talked to, it was a fun time. It would also be a shame not to talk about the fireworks, such an appealing and yet rare spectacle these days. I would say that Exeter’s fireworks were definitely on par with the importance of the event, although the inhabitants must have been delighted with the wonderful smell that engulfed the town afterwards. I would say that the festival was a success amongst the students of Phillips Exeter Academy, and we can only hope that next year’s students will have as much fun as us!