ESSEX — Thousands gathered Friday at Shepard Memorial Park to watch fireworks in celebration of Essex's Bicentennial.

The event, one in a series by the town's Bicentennial Committee, included food trucks serving up pizza fresh from the oven, barbecue, Indian food, gourmet hotdogs, clam chowder, ice cream and more.

Two bands — Uncharted Watahs, with retired police Chief Peter G. Silva, and Mystery Meat, played from 5 p.m. until the fireworks' start.

Bicentennial T-shirts, hoodies, commemorative calendars and Madame Varney tea towels were for sale.

More information about future Bicentennial events may be found on the town's website,