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‘Fireworks for Freedom’ to light up Stanley Park July 2

Date: 6/28/2011

June 2, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD — The skies over Stanley Park will light up in celebration of the nation’s freedom once again this July 2, thanks to the efforts of the Westfield Rotary Club.

Rotary Club President-Elect Mark Boardman, who also serves as this year’s “Fireworks for Freedom” event coordinator, told Reminder Publications the Rotary stepped in this year to replace the Kiwanis, which had been sponsoring the city’s July 4th fireworks for the past three years.

“They were looking for another group to take it over and we [did],” Boardman said. “Our motto in Rotary is ‘service above self,’ and we thought this was a great way to give back to the community and keep a great Westfield tradition alive.”

Boardman said Stanley Park would open to the public at 4 p.m. on July 2, with “Fireworks for Freedom” activities beginning at 6 p.m.

“We have three different musical acts planned,” Boardman said. “The first is Emma Murray, a student at Westfield High School. She’ll be performing some songs that she has written herself.”

Boardman said the second act of the evening would be a concert by the Westfield High School Jazz combo, under the direction of Pat Kennedy. The third, and feature, act will be a performance by Cory and the Knightsmen band.

A group of F-15s from the Air Nation Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing stationed at Barnes Air Reserve Base is also scheduled to perform a flyover as part of the evening’s entertainment, Boardman said, with the fireworks closing the event at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Boardman added that there would be food available during the evening from a variety of vendors.

The entertainment and fireworks display is free and open to the public, but Boardman said the Rotary would be accepting donations to help defray the cost of the event, for which he said the group had budgeted between “$25,000 and $30,000.”

“The event is put on entirely by donations,” he said. “Anybody who donates should know that the money goes 100 percent to the fireworks fund.”

In the case of rain, “Fireworks for Freedom” will take place on July 3.

Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at

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