Plans Finalized for 4th of July Festivities
Jun 29, 2018 06:00AM ● Published by Brian Choquet
Shown (L-R) are Town Administrator Denis Fraine, Charles River Bank Sr. Vice President of Customer Care and Relationship Development Ann Sherry, Board of Selectmen Chairman Mike Soter, and CRB Bellingham Branch Manager Michael Tuite.
story by Brian Choquet, Contributing Writer
It’s almost the time of year again for Bellingham residents to gaze into the starry sky and watch as the celebratory Fourth of July fireworks burst over the fields of the Bellingham Memorial Middle School.
The fireworks celebration will be turning 22 years old this year and will be held on the Fourth of July. This year’s show will be offering what most regular attendees have come to expect from the cherished annual event.
Live performances will begin sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m. according to Chris Remillard, who is helping to organize the event. Acoustic acts are planned to start off the concert, but no performers had been confirmed as openers at Bulletin deadline.
At 7 p.m., former American Idol contestant and New England Country Music’s 2017 Local Male Artist of the Year Timmy Brown will perform with the band Black Diamond. Brown, who hails from nearby Norton, recently performed at large-scale music events such as the sold-out Country 102.5 Street Party in Boston June 2 and Country Jam, a four-day music festival in Colorado, June 14.
Pieces of Eight, Remillard’s self-described “high energy band,” will take the stage at 8:30 pm to perform a wide variety of songs that encompass sounds from the 60's to now.This will be the fourth-year Pieces of Eight will perform at the celebration.
The band will be rocking out till the first set of the 1,192 shots of fireworks soar into the sky at 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will last 25 minutes, according to Town Administrator Denis Fraine.
Free parking will be available at the parking lots of BMMS and Bellingham High School. Local police officers will be present to help direct parking and traffic.
Fraine recommends that attendees arrive before 7:30 p.m. to secure a parking spot before the lots fill up—a common occurrence for the most popular town event of the year. No street parking will be allowed along Blackstone Street.
Vendors, which include organizations like the Bellingham Friends of Music and local scout groups, will be selling food and beverages throughout the evening. These include typical backyard barbeque favorites like burgers and hot dogs, as well as snacks like popcorn and cotton candy.
“It’s the biggest fundraiser for local organizations,” said Fraine. “We don’t allow any outside vendors on our property. It’s strictly reserved for any of the youth groups or town organizations.”
The event itself was fully funded by donations, totaling $20,000, from local businesses.
A dunk tank run by Bellingham’s 300th Anniversary Committee will also be available. They will be raising money for next year’s weekend-long event to celebrate Bellingham turning 300, taking place July 19 to 21.
One of the many events taking place next year on that weekend will be a fireworks display that is intended to replace next year’s usual Fourth of July fireworks celebration—ultimately breaking the show’s 22-year streak of having fireworks on the Fourth itself.
Since its inception in 1996, Bellingham’s fireworks have been one of the only fireworks displays in the local area to take place on July 4. (Rain date: July 5.)