There was pizzazz last night at the first annual Stars & Stripes Spectacular Fourth of July celebration on the packed Eastern Promenade. The addition of a free patriotic pop concert before and during most of the fireworks display brought a new level of glamour and oratory to this traditional event not previously enjoyed by viewers.
Earlier this year it looked as though the Fourth would be a dark and quiet night on the Eastern Prom when the annual Fireworks were cut from the city’s budget -that was until a group of city businessmen stepped in and turned the Celebration into probably one of the more all-around festive nights in the city’s celebration.
The additional glamour came from the beautiful singing of soprano Suzanne Nance, also musical director of Maine Public Radio. She sang “Summertime”, “I Could Have Danced All Night” and an “Armed Forces Salute.” The oratory came from a narration by four actors from The Portland Players. In between selections, Moody implored the huge audience to keep this Spectacular going by purchasing water, soda and donating to the 50 – 50 Raffle; proceeds of which will go to funding future Stars & Stripes Spectaculars. The name of the winner of the 50 – 50 raffle has not yet been announced.
“I’m waiting – waiting for tomorrow,” said Wayne Cilley, a city employee who served as security today until the crews return tomorrow and breakdown the concert stage and pack it away. One party stopped and told Cilley that they’d been able to hear the concert from a boat in the Harbor, to the surprise of many. It was “muffled” and the boaters suggested putting speakers on the backside of the concert stage next year.
The Founding Members of the Stars and Stripes Spectacular are The Portland Papers, Quirk Chevrolet, Wright Express and the Maine Red Claws. For more information, please visit www.july4thportland.org
Please visit previous post herein, # 512, dated July 2nd.