Economy won’t stop fireworks

Published 9:36 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The City of Troy’s annual firework show almost didn’t happen this year.

But, not only will the show go on, it will go on with a little extra.

“We just had to look at the cost and our budget and realized we’re in good enough shape to have it,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “The fireworks show is something we pride ourselves on as being one of the best in the southeast. It’s something we’ve done for years, and we try to do every year.”

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The “Troy Freedom Concert & Celebration” will kick off a little early this year, so residents can enjoy entertainment from a local choral group at 7:30 p.m. in Movie Gallery Stadium, something the city of Troy hasn’t done for at least 10 years.

“They will have a one-hour program of music and other entertainment, and then the fireworks show will begin at approximately 8:45 p.m.,” said Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith. “It has been the first time we’ve had a program of this nature in many years. We’re excited and proud of the program that will take place on the field that will kind of get people in the stadium in the spirit for the show.”

Bart Culpepper, music minister at First Baptist Church, has organized a group of local residents and other church members to sing in the community choir.

“The reason we got this activity together was one, to show our patriotism for our country,” Culpepper said. “Another reason is to help unify our community around our Independence Day celebration and to also honor our local veterans and military personnel.”

Culpepper said the groups will perform traditional patriotic songs, like the “Star Spangled Banner” and “This Land is Your Land.”

The event will also feature a salute to all veterans, recognition of those serving in active duty, a presentation from Charlie’s Angels and a welcome from Lunsford.

Smith said the fireworks show promises to be a big hit.

“The show we put on is as good as it gets, especially for a town our size,” Smith said.

“July 4 is a great day for pride in America and patriotism, and we need to celebrate our freedom and remember those soldiers that are overseas today and those that have fought before.”

Smith said he is grateful the Troy City Council found a way to keep the spirit of the Fourth alive.

“I know a number of cities I have read across Alabama and America have cancelled fireworks shows due to budget concerns, and we’re very proud that the mayor and council are committed to this event because it is truly one of the best fireworks shows in central and south Alabama,” Smith said.