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Concord fireworks show scheduled for tomorrow

Concord taxpayers are footing the $30,000 bill for tomorrow’s July Fourth celebration, but Parks and Recreation Director David Gill said the fireworks show should be worth top dollar.

For the first time, this year’s fireworks will be fired from inside Memorial Field. They’ve traditionally been shot off from state property across the street, Gill said, but some trees are growing so tall as to block the show.

“That’s going to dramatically increase the viewing for everybody in Memorial Field itself,” Gill said.

Most years, Gill has needed to support the show with outside donations. For Independence Day events in 2010 and 2011, he didn’t get any money from the city. During the last two years, he got $5,000 or less. The greatest number of city dollars appropriated in the last 10 years was $12,670 for the show in 2006.

But some usual supporters of the fireworks did not donate this year, Gill said. So he asked for $30,000 in his department’s budget for tomorrow’s show, and the Concord City Council approved that spending earlier this year.

“Money was tight,” Gill said.

The fireworks themselves already cost about $20,000, Gill said, and moving the show inside Memorial Field from across the street did increase this year’s cost. Gill said about $6,000 of that total bill also goes to police and fire officials who work overtime to staff the celebration.

“With moving the fireworks, I think it’s going to provide a really good show for folks,” he said.

Fireworks have been shot over Memorial Field for “an awfully long time,” Gill said.

“I have people who have grown up here in their 70s and 80s, and they always remember the fireworks at Memorial Field,” Gill said.

Food vendors will open at 4 p.m. This year’s schedule also includes:

∎ 4 p.m.: A free American Legion baseball game.

∎ 5 p.m.: A live broadcast from radio station WJYY and the Wolfe on site.

∎ 7:30 p.m. A concert by the Nevers’ Band.

∎ 9:15 p.m. or dusk: Fireworks.

Traffic patterns around Memorial Field will be restricted beginning at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Between Clinton and Pleasant streets, South Fruit Street will be one way traveling north. Redington Road will be a one way heading east from Tuttle Street to South Fruit Street; Minot Street will be one-way going north from Pleasant Street to School Street.

There will be several other minor traffic patterns and modifications in the area and on the grounds of the New Hampshire Hospital as well.

A rain date has been scheduled for Saturday. While Manchester has already postponed tonight’s fireworks show for thunderstorms, Gill is just keeping an eye on the forecast for now. An approaching tropical storm could be “the major wrinkle,” he said, but city staff will meet today with the fireworks company to track its progress ahead of tomorrow’s event.

Check concordparksandrec.com for information about any weather delays.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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Legacy Comments1

Preshate the heads-up on relocation of the fireworks. Gives me time to get an Off-Grounds Privilege pass.

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