By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,636)
All is ready for the 7th Annual Stars & Stripes Spectacular – the largest event north of Boston. It’s expected that 50,000 people will watch the event throughout the city; that includes viewers on their boats from Portland Harbor. The event takes place every year on the Eastern Promenade on Munjoy Hill with a magnificent view of Portland Harbor in the background.
The event starts at 7:00 pm from the concert stage It is free and open to the public. It’s requested that dogs, with the exception of service dogs remain at home.
This year’s stage is a different one from previous years said Tim Reardon, pictured above left. It is a robotics stage which means it’s much easier to assemble and in a shorter period of time. Previously it took the better part of two days to assemble – this year it’s taking half the time to assemble. It’s the same stage used on the Maine State Pier.
In the past this reincarnation of the city’s July 4th show has featured top names singers such as Don McLean and Melissa Manchester – both acts that are hard to follow. McLean’s “American Pie,” “Vincent” and other songs were crowd pleasers for sure.
About eight (8) years ago, the City found itself in the unfortunate position of having to cut the annual celebration from its budget, because of overall budget cuts. That’s when Jon Jennings currently city manager, and formerly with the Maine Red Claws and the Thompson’s Point Development, stepped up to the challenge. With colleagues he organized, they began a private funding process that not only rescued the event from oblivion, but put it on steroids. For the first time, the Portland Symphony Orchestra was involved.
Don’t forget it can get quite cool on the Prom late in the evening. Recommended to bring a sweater or jacket.
Munjoy Hill will be closed to all traffic at 4:00 pm. 7:00 is the opening ceremony. 7:40 is the PSO Patriot Pops Concert. At 9:20 the Fireworks Show begins. In the event of bad weather, the Spectacular will be held on Tuesday, July 5th.
For the most up to date information, please visit www.July4thportland.org
(editor’s note: A photograph of Joey Ayotte did not download. Sorry!)