Thursday, July 03 2008
FRIDAY 4th OF JULY
PRODUCED BY GAGE
JULY 4 TO INCLUDE FIREWORKS, BOATS & MUSIC
Mick Conati of The Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville (GAGE) promises that the 2008 version of the annual riverfront Fourth of July fireworks display will be "better than anything we've seen in past years - and we've been fortunate to have some pretty great fireworks shows in this city."
Conati, vice president of GAGE's Downtown Development Division, said the production by Melrose Pyrotechnics, Inc. promises to be both patriotic and awe-inspiring. The show will include new displays that are more intricate and thrilling than in past years.
Melrose has taken top awards in national fireworks competitions, and the company will be sharing its winning displays with Evansville. And Evansville's riverfront is the reason the unique display is possible.
"This show is only possible because we are able to do it on the water. Evansville is among a very few locations where spectators will be able to experience such a show. You will see things you will never see anywhere else. It's like riding a roller coaster. It will shake you up and rattle you around," said Garry Poe of Melrose.
The fireworks show is free and no button is required.
A new holiday tradition is starting in conjunction with July Fourth this year. Conati said about a dozen members of the Evansville Yacht Club will parade their boats on the Ohio River along Evansville's riverfront. Decorated in the festive red, white and blue Independence Day theme, the boats will sail along the riverfront starting at 7 p.m. A Statue of Liberty replica will grace the lead boat. Holiday boat parades are a tradition in costal locations.
Pre-recorded music, presented through the sponsorship of CBS 44, starts at 6:30 p.m. A segment of patriotic music will precede the fireworks.
A few local non-profit organizations will be selling refreshments at booths along the riverfront prior to the start of the fireworks. "We'd like to expand the event next year by arranging more pre-fireworks entertainment and invite additional community organizations to become vendors," Conati said.
Conati explained that without the commitment and financial support of Old National Bank and Casino Aztar, the annual fireworks show would not be possible this year.
"Casino Aztar's passion for the community has been strong since our arrival in the city. We made a commitment to support the fireworks display in our first year in the downtown, and we have continued our support. It is one of our favorite community events. We are excited to see what unfolds this year as each show continues to be more thrilling," said Stacey McNeill, Casino Aztar's marketing director.
Kathy Schoettlin, Old National's director of marketing and communications, said, "As a community partner, Old National is proud to be the sponsor of the 2008 fireworks display. We're pleased that all community members will be able to enjoy this spectacular, patriotic show free of charge."
Free parking will be available in all city parking garages and in the Civic Center parking lot on Walnut Street.
If weather conditions delay the start of the fireworks Friday evening, Conati said he will relay information to media outlets and details will be broadcast via the riverfront sound system.