- Brian Durham, narrow gauge steam engineer
- Grucci’s of New York Fourth of July Fireworks
By Carol McCracken
There were two highly anticipated light displays in the skies over the Greater Munjoy Hill area over the passing holiday weekend. The first was the re- emergence of the glorious sun on Friday and the other, the ‘incredible’ fireworks display on the Eastern Promenade on Saturday evening, July 4th.
As usual, the Eastern Prom was packed with people of all ages and from different cultural backgrounds. Many came expecting an unusually good fireworks show this year. That’s largely because of the pre-holiday promotion by the city for this year’s producer. Grucci’s of New York was the producer of the show for the first time. The show began prompatly at 9:25 p.m. even as the audience was still arriving. It featured a Broadway Curtain Call Opening, scenes of color and special effects. Grucci Grand Illuminations and the Milky Way Grand Finale. Grucci’s was responsible for the Salt Lake, Athens and Beijing Olympics fireworks programs in the past.
Everyone seemed enthusiastic about the production on the Hill’s Eastern Promenade. There were rave reviews from everyone MHN spoke with. Barbara Libbey said: “They were incredible. The best I’ve seen on the Hill and I’ve seen lots of them here. The color coordination was especially outstanding.” However, she did express concern as to the appropriateness of spending so much money on the event when so many people are out of work. Barbara, who is a gaphics designer in Boston, was visiting her mother who lives on the Hill.
The long weekend began on Friday, July 3rd which for many was a day off from work. That’s when people began arriving on the Portland waterfront. Whether people arrived by train or by yacht, Commercial Street was crowded by folks eager to absorb the first rays of sunshine following weeks of rain and cold along the east coast. “It didn’t take much – just some blue sky to cheer everyone up,” said Sarah Foshay, marina manager of DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant on Long Wharf.
In many places on the Hill, the power went out in mid-afternoon, but according to employees at the 7Eleven on Washingon Avenue, it was restored by 6:00 p.m.
Sunny weather, backyard parties and outstanding fireworks brought good cheer to many Hill residents.