The concert stage is almost ready, the red, white and blue bunting is up and the amplification will be installed tomorrow. Also to be installed tomorrow is a large American flag that will serve as the backdrop on the stage. Gorham Flag Co. has donated it’s use for the weekend. City officials as well as Jon Jennings, Maine Red Claws president and CEO, were among those watchng as final preparations for the Stars & Stripes Spectacular went into high gear on the Eastern Promenade this morning.
Because of budget shortfalls, the funds for the traditional fireworks show were cut from the budget this spring. Jon Jennings, stepped in and organized a group of local businessmen to come up with a plan to ensure that the fireworks would continue. “The Maine Red Claws have become a part-time job because this has taken so much of my time,” Jennings said today on the Prom. “It’s been two months of intense planning to be sure that everything is covered.”
This year’s Spectacular is not entirely paid for yet. Proceeds from the sale of water, soda and glowing necklaces will used to support the effort. Food vendors will not be selling drinks. Recently added to the fund raising is a “50-50 raffle.” Participants will donate $1. to the Pot. There will be a drawing just before the end of the preconcert intermission and the winner will get half the Pot. There are 30 seats still available at large tables that have been set up near the stage as well. Each seat costs $100. As many as 20,000 to 40,000 could view the Spectacular from Munjoy Hill.
For those viewing the Spectacular in boats in Casco Harbor or anywhere but Munjoy Hill, it is recommended that you listen to the broadcast of the Portland Symphony Orchestra on Maine Public Radio. The PSO, conducted by Robert Moody, will play throughout the fireworks show except for the grand finale of fireworks. The concert will be broadcast throughout Maine.
The concert begins at 7:40 pm Sunday. The fireworks begin at 9:20 pm. Due to the large crowds and noise, organizers ask that owners leave their pets at home.
“We just hope that everyone in the community will come out and have a wonderful time,” said Jennings. “This is for the community.” Jennings is a former assistant coach for the Boston Celtics.
Please see post # 508, dated June 25, here in for more information.