Saturday, June 30, 2012

Springfield Celebrates Independence with Fireworks and Festivities on the Fourth

Declaration of Independence

(PRESS RELEASE) Wednesday, July 4, 2012, Riverfront Park in downtown Springfield will host MassMutual's Star Spangled Springfield, an evening of patriotism and pyrotechnics. The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. and end with Fireworks by Grucci's world famous grand finale.

At 7:30 p.m., Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Nick Fytrilakis, Vice President of Community Respons- ibility for MassMutual Financial Group, Judy Matt, Spirit of Springfield President, along with MassAppeal's Ashley Kohl and Seth Stutman, will welcome the crowd to Riverfront Park. Bringing greetings from the United States Armed Forces will be Colonel Steven Vautrain, Wing Commander at Westover Air Force Reserve Base, with a flyover from the 104th Fighter Wing, based at Westfield's Barnes Massachusetts Air National Guard Base.

Following the brief comments, Dan Kane's Rising Stars, approximately 150 children age 6 to 15, will take to the stage. They will perform as a chorus, small groups and solos featuring patriotic, pop, country and Broadway musical selections. The young voices will be performing after just two days of rehearsal as part of Dan Kane's 10th Annual Summer Singing Enrichment Program for Young Singers.

At 9:30 p.m., all eyes will be on the skies over the Memorial Bridge as Fireworks by Grucci perform their pyrotechnic wizardry. They will paint the sky with a rainbow of brilliant colors, amazing formations and spell out U-S-A, and dance to musical selections to be simulcast on Mix 93.1FM. Songs include John William's "Fanfare" with a narration by John Wayne, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless America," "Independence Day" by Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," "America the Beautiful" by Beyonce and more.

Preparations for the fireworks will begin on Monday, July 2, as a crew of pyrotechnicians will work to wire 35 firing batteries and 250 firing cues. The show will include 240 six-inch shells, 320 five-inch shells, 360 four-inch shells, 1,880 three-inch shells and 1,640 Grucci Grand Illuminations. Production will resume at 11 p.m. on July 3 when the Memorial Bridge will close to all traffic, vehicular and pedestrian. For safety reasons, only authorized personnel will be allowed on the bridge. The bridge will re-open around 11 p.m. on July 4th.

"It's not the quantity of fireworks that creates a beautiful portrait of fire; it's the quality and variety of the shells, along with the artist that paints the picture," states Donna Grucci Butler, President of Fireworks by Grucci. "We address our program as an art."

Star Spangled Springfield, in addition to being sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group, is supported by Tower Square, MGM Resorts International, Balise Motor Sales, WWLP-22News, Mix 93.1FM, The Republican, Springfield Parking Authority, Elegant Affairs, Michael's Party Rentals, Ameristar, 90 Meat Outlet, Charlie Arment Trucking, Joseph Freedman Company, United Tractor Trailer School, Allied Waste, Friendly's and the City of Springfield.

For more information about Star Spangled Springfield, visit or contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413)733-3800.

To find more fireworks and fun happening in Western Massachusetts this July 4th, check out the list at EWM's 'Independence Day Celebrations in Western Massachusetts.'

To learn more about the Hampden County Memorial Bridge and the toll bridge that preceded it, visit EWM past posts, 'Postcards: Hampden County Memorial Bridge' and 'Postcards: The Old Toll Bridge, Springfield, Massachusetts.'

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