Statement as issued Monday by Manchester University:
It’s time to strike up the band and light up the sky with Manchester College’s annual 4th of July Celebration in North Manchester. The free community party begins at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4 on the athletic grounds of what then will be Manchester University, with fireworks at 10 p.m. (The college becomes a university on July 1.)
Manchester’s Independence Day gift to the community last year wowed more than 1,500 visitors with music, a patriotic speech or two, $1 food, kites for kids and fireworks, of course.
The Manchester Civic Band sparks the evening, led by Reggie Smith in favorite patriotic tunes and toe-tappers. A welcome at 9 p.m. is followed by patriotic readings by community members. Crowd favorite Bart Corricelli, an Iwo Jima veteran and former commander of the Eel River American Legion Post, will prime the patriotism.
Manchester underwrites the $5,000 cost of the fireworks, which town firefighters launch on the east edge of campus. Guests will want to bring lawn chairs or blankets for the band’s performance, near the Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC). Afterward, the soccer field bleachers provide a premium view of the fireworks. Beware, they fill quickly.
North Manchester Rotary will serve up $1 hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, water and soda throughout the evening to benefit local community projects and reading programs.
For safety of the guests and campus, sparklers and other personal fireworks are not permitted. The rain date is Thursday, July 5, same time and place.
For directions to the Manchester campus, visit www.manchester.edu.