By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,459)
“It was a flawless night. There were no serious problems. No injuries in the crowd,” said Jon Jennings, founder of the Fourth Spectacular this morning on the Eastern Promenade. In the background, crews were taking down the performance tent under which the Portland Symphony Orchestra, directed by Robert Moody, had played masterfully patriotic music before and during the fireworks display. “Last night was our best of the four Spectaculars this group has put on.” The crowd estimate was that over 40,000 attended the Spectacular Jennings said.
The SuperHero of the night, as Robert Moody introduced him, was the iconic Don Mclean. In the first half of the concert, McLean sang “Vincent.” In the second half of the concert before the fireworks display, he sang his other classic “American Pie.” Excitement was palpalable in the crowd on the Eastern Promenade. “I could see people get up and dance all over the Promenade. I saw McLean before the perfomrnace and he was so pumped up to be here,” said Jennings. Following his performance, McLean, his wife and son, who are Maine residents, sat in the VIP section and watched the fireworks from there. McLean maintains a full touring schedule in both this country and abroad. Jennings who has seen McLean in concert said he’d never heard a better rendition of “American Pie” than McLean performed last night.
“We are trying to make good memories for future generations here,” Jennings said. He believes that the participation of the Portland Symphony Orchestra has a calming effect on the crowed. “We are seeing more and more families attending every year,” he said. He acknowledged that successful Spectaculars like this one put more pressure on the group to come up with a better event each year. A Lincoln presenter reciting the Gettysburg Address in costume added significantly to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Address this week.
Asked if Don McLean will be back next year, Jennings responded: “We’ll see!”