Fireworks bring a lot of noise and mess — why can’t we just talk instead?

That seemed to be the attitude of Minneapolis liberals, who presented an alternative to traditional Fourth of July celebrations on Friday.

After 122 years of Independence Day fireworks at Powderhorn Park, community organizers ditched the pyrotechnics because last year the crowd of 20,000 had been too rowdy, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported.

Instead, Powderhorn Park was the site of a much more subdued gathering: “some old-fashioned July 4 oratory” in the middle of the day, as the StarTribune put it, in which ”the politics ran from left to lefter.”

A total of 22 people showed up, the paper reported.

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Powderhorn Park, pictured above in 2010, was virtually empty on a firework-free Fourth of July this year. (Image via Michael Hicks / flickr)

“Remember the Fourth of July as a time when people rose up and overthrew the most powerful system in the world,” said Kevin Nance, a member of the militant Socialist movement the Workers International League.

Another speaker yearned for yesteryear, saying, “I wish we could have a revival of the ‘60s, and people in the streets.”

This story has been updated.

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