By Carol McCracken (Post # 822)
Preparations are underway for the Stars & Stripes Spectacular on the Eastern Promenade for the Fourth of July celebration. The stage upon which the Portland Symphony Orchestra will perform its second Patriotic Pops Concert was erected today under a bright blue sky and gentle breezes.
Looking out at this incredible view that has been preserved for our enjoyment by those who went generations ahead of us it is hard not to think of them as well on this all important national holiday approaching us. In the same vein, it seems like a good time to appreciate the hard work against challenging odds of the various Maine environmental groups who worked successfully in Augusta to be sure that future protections will remain in place for the Maine public.
“More bills were introduced this session (in the just concluded Maine legislation) to weaken or repeal Maine’s environmental laws than at any point in memory,” said Pete Didisheim, Natural Resources Council of Maine Advocacy Director. “Fortunately, lawmakers made a series of good bipartisan decisions to reject most of these proposals, which would have threatened clean air, clean water and the health of Maine people and our environment. In general, legislators did their homework, paid attention to the science, recognized that a clean and healthy environment is vital to Maine’s economy and listened to the views of Maine people,” Didisheim went on to say in a press release issued by the NRCM earlier today. Thanks to the NRCM and other similar organizations who worked so hard this legislative session to preserve and protect Maine’s environment for future generations.
Meanwhile, plans for this year’s Stars & Stripes Spectacular have been refined from last years somewhat. There will be a pre-concert performance by comedian Bob Marley at 6 pm. The Portland Symphony Orchestra, directed by Robert Moody, will follow with its concert at 7:40 pm. This year the soloist is Paul Baswell, a tenor, who has recently performed in Maine. As last year, the Orchestra will play for the duration of the fireworks. For the first time, there will be a free valet bicycle parking which runs from 6 – 10:30 pm. This will allow bicyclists to leave their unlocked bikes near the cannon at Ft. Allen Park during the festivities.
This is the second year that the event has been privately funded. Last year because of budget cuts, the event was scrapped from the city’s budget. A group of businessmen, led by Jon Jennings, president of the Maine Red Claws stepped in to rescue the celebration and add the PSO and more.
For more details, please see July4thPortland.org
To refresh your memory on last years first spectacular, please see posts # 512, dated July 2nd and 513, dated July 5th posted herein.