Despite Efforts To Tone It Down, Crouch Remains Chaotic On The 4th Of July

Jul 7, 2016

Update 7/11/16: The filmaker who captured the wild abandon of the Crouch Fourth of July celebration is not pleased with the version posted by the New York Post. Adam Nawrot calls the Post's shorter, music-enhanced video "disgusting."

"I think the NYP put a weird spin on everything," Nawrot says. "My video was intended to be very 'fly on the wall' with as little editing choices or signs of my hand as possible. The music and clickbait style rhetoric added by the Post doesn't jive with my original intent at all; not to mention that they obtained rights to re-edit my footage through a convoluted process that went against my expressed request that they leave the footage in its original form."

Original Post: We reported last week that Garden Valley Idaho residents were making an effort this year to tone down their Independence Day celebration that had become known as Chaos in Crouch. But judging from a video shared by the New York Post, Crouch, a town of fewer than 200 year-round residents, was still pretty chaotic on the night of the 4th this year.

The video by filmmaker/photographer Adam Nawrot shows people running through a gauntlet of fire and explosions, a few wearing helmets and little else, a lot of drinking by the largely 20-something crowd, a lot of illegal fireworks, what appear to be paper towels being applied to a bloody hand injury and a few small children running through the middle of it all.  

The Post’s version is just over a minute long. Nawrot has a five and a half minute version on his YouTube channel and his website. He describes it this way.

“…just for the day, there are quite literally no rules. Fueled by a collective drunken spirit, fireworks are discharged at will with blatant disregard for human safety. Those with something to prove gallantly dodge explosives in the time honored tradition of "running the gauntlet" whilst hoisting high the stars and stripes. It's the kind of place that would constitute the wet dream of a Manhattanite legal team with liability suits as far as the eye can see. In Idaho however, no one even batted an eye when a mortar misfired in a teenager's hand inches in front of me and left it a bloody mess of gashed meat. 

When the locals unanimously insisted that I spend the extra few days in town to catch the Fourth of July celebrations, I'm glad I listened because you don't know a (profanity) thing about freedom unless you've been in Crouch, Idaho on the Fourth of July.” - Adam Nawrot

The adjective the New York Post uses most to describe the festivities is “redneck.” But it also says the event “looked insanely fun.” And that it, “kind of makes you proud to be an American.”

One Crouch business owner we spoke with who wished to remain anonymous says efforts to make the celebration family-friendly failed, but but added at least the mess got cleaned up the next day.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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