Forget fireworks. This year the big Fourth of July spectacular in Venice Beach turned out to come in the form of a broken fire hydrant spewing water four stories in the air at the corner of Speedway and Clubhouse Avenues. What else to do but throw off your clothes and dance beneath the downpour until the authorities arrive? Or, if you’re me, take pictures. In many ways it was a welcome relief the disappointment we experienced from the cancellation of major fireworks shows in Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey. We were still able to see distant shows to the north in Malibu and to the south in Manhattan Beach, but nothing that was in-your-face. On our way back from the beach after fireworks we came across this scene and, like everyone else, ran toward it. There, for 15 minutes or so, crowds of people cheered as people took turns dashing into the downpour until the authorities arrived, unwittingly making the show patriotic with flashes of red, white and blue light. After a few minutes they cleared out the scene and got to work capping the geyser. Apparently, the culprit was a car that ran into the hydrant, knocking it off its base. I haven’t heard that anyone was hurt and hopefully no one experienced too much flooding from the 4-inch deep river that formed in the alleys. Definitely a memorable cap to an otherwise great Fourth, despite the meager fireworks displays.
Check out more photos after the jump!