Did you know fireworks date back to seventh century China when they were used to scare away evil spirits? But that was just for the wealthy. The masses didn’t get their boom-boom on until the 14th century, thanks to the Ming dynasty’s populist embrace. Fast-forward to today and a beloved dynasty of another sort, the Oak Bluffs Fire Department, which is hosting its annual fireworks blastoff at Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs.

The record for the largest firework display consisted of 66,326 fireworks at a festival in Madeira, Portugal. But word has it that was just too much. Just as dazzling, but much more intimate, tonight’s pyrotechnics, chemical compounds which cause a flame to burn with a particular color, of course, begin at dusk.