Planning ahead for the 4th of July celebration

Posted May 10, 2011, at 11:02 p.m.

Can you believe that the Fourth of July holiday is only 8 weeks away? For the 2011 celebrations Camden will become America’s music village once again on Sunday, July 3, with the Camden Rotary Club’s “Music by the Sea” presenting three different ensembles performing a wide range of American music; a free public concert with classic Motown act Junior Walker’s All Stars presented by Bay Chamber Concerts in Harbor Park at 8 p.m; and a spectacular fireworks display above the most beautiful harbor in Maine.

Last year’s concerts and fireworks exceeded all expectations, with thousands of people jamming downtown Camden on the promise of great music and a beautiful fireworks display. With a proven event on our hands, we fully expect even greater numbers to join us for a wonderful evening of entertainment, so stake out your picnic blanket in the park nice and early.

The Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce’s portion of proceedings revolves around staging a community-financed fireworks display in Camden Harbor on the evening of July 3 — part of an eve of independence celebration to honor our heritage and our history.

As well as being a great community event for the region, continuing to expand our offerings around the Fourth is good for business throughout our region. As with the past two years, the Chamber will team up with already existing events to mark the holiday in style and to bring buzz and business to the Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville area as well as the broader region.

In order to stage the fireworks portion of the show, we need to raise funds from the community. To that end, I’m seeking the support of the whole community to ensure the success of this event, a great day for the midcoast. Let’s show off our vaunted community spirit and pride in our region by working together to celebrate our nation’s independence. Indeed, let’s show off our own independence and pitch in for our own party rather than depend on others (be they businesses or individuals) to pay for these things for us.

If you remember how perfect last year was, with the day-long music, stunning weather, enormous crowd and incredible fireworks all combining for a magical weekend, then I’d like to call on your support and generosity to recreate the magic this year. If you’d like to help support Independence Day celebrations and contribute toward the cost of the fireworks, send a check to the Chamber at P.O. Box 919, Camden, ME 04843, marked “Fourth of July fireworks.” No contribution is too small.

Any additional funds raised through this campaign will be used to support the other elements of this incredible event — the Camden Rotary’s scholarship funding generated by the Music by the Sea and the wonderful free concert staged by Bay Chamber Concerts as part of the evening celebrations.

Also, if you have a nonprofit, community or fundraising event scheduled for the week of the Fourth, let us know and we’ll consider it for inclusion in the Festival of Independence. For more information email me at dbookham@camdenme.org.

Dan Bookham is the executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. Call 236-4404, email dbookham@camdenme.org, or visit http://www.visitcamden.com for more information.

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