By Misty Harris
I can remember during my kindergarten and pre-middle school years we would all dress in our red, white and blues (notes were sent home to do so) and walk across the street to the cemetery with our mini flags in hand and pay tribute to all those who fought for our freedom (this ritual would be repeated for Veterans Day as well). Flags could be seen for miles all strewn across the cemetery. Of course, being as young as I was, I had no idea what any of this meant. Afterwards, we would retreat to the auditorium where an assembly took place. We sang America: “Our Country Tis of Thee”, “This Land is Your Land” and the National Anthem. There were short skits about The Declaration of Independence, Betsy Ross and more. But of course as a kid this meant one thing… maybe two… a day off and fireworks! OK maybe three things… some major barbecue time! I couldn’t wait to eat until I couldn’t move an inch. I also couldn't wait to see the sky light up. Back then, everyone used to migrate to Delaware Park (in the heart of the city) to see the big show.
A few years back I decided to brave another great show I had seen on TV time and time again. The fireworks presentation under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Living in NYC you kind of take for granted the amazing things that take place there. It really is amazing! Definitely worth the trek.
If you live in the city of Buffalo (especially downtown), during the summer months you may be privy to a spectacular show almost every Friday night. When I lived in the vicinity of this area, fireworks exploded in the air after the Friday evening Buffalo Bisons home games. Sometimes it startled me (the weatherman didn’t say there would be thunderstorms did he?) but most of the time it was cool!
So what show will you be watching tomorrow? Perhaps A Capital Fourth on WNED-TV? If you can’t make it to the fireworks, tune in for one spectacular celebration! This year’s celebration features an inspiring Olympic tribute to Team USA and performances by Megan Hilty, Javier Colon, Kool & the Gang, Kelli O’Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra and of course no celebration would be complete without Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (if you have the chance check out the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this summer, they do a great performance of this piece).
If you are barbecuing be sure to turn on the radio to Classical 94.5 WNED for an all American classical celebration. Hear the music of Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland and more throughout the day. We even have the local American Legion Band’s Independence Day Concert at 1p.m. By the way, WNED’s Peter Hall highly recommends the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s (conducted by JoAnn Falletta) performance of Americana…The Dream Comes Alive airing at 10 a.m. So we are celebrating our Independence in a major way and we hope that you enjoy the holiday (your day off) in a safe but fun way!