Around 8:45 on Thursday night, I was out by River Street in Downtown Troy when a huge BOOM echoed through the streets. Everybody froze in place, in a communal "what was THAT?" Then two more massive booms popped out in quick succession.

It's too loud for gunshots... is that fireworks? Everybody looks up, and sure enough, a fireworks display to rival the Magic Kingdom is shining off the Hudson.

"Better Than The Fourth of July"

In case you missed it, or thought Troy was being shelled but weren't particularly curious enough to peek outside, here's what it looked like from a rooftop vantage.

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I was able to locate the source of the fireworks - a massive barge just off Monument Square. There was a huge crowd of people running up and gathering. People were wandering out of bars and restaurants. Cars were stopped in the middle of the street.

By the grand finale, the crowd went wild, with cheers erupting from those gathered. As I walked back home, I heard one lady say to her daughter, "that was better than the 4th of July." It was a weird, totally unexpected, kinda magical moment, honestly. Loud, but magical.

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Who Did This?

While people in the crowd were wondering if it was Gilded Age filming some big celebratory scene (to be honest, I thought it was going to be the long-teased scene where they unveil the Brooklyn Bridge), it wasn't HBO behind this show.

RPI actually set off the fireworks as part of their Welcome Fest for the incoming class of 2026. Student or not, it was a pretty spectacular (and loud) way to celebrate a Thursday.

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This ranking comes from the US college aggregate website Niche. Started in 2002, Niche provides comprehensive reviews and information for colleges on pretty much anything you’d want to search. They used student reviews and other data to pull this together, so we’re standing by it. Now let’s get this party started!

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