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About 5,000 attend Long Meadow fireworks display

July 01, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

Colorful bursts of red, white and blue bounced across the sky and the thunder of fireworks filled the cool summer air of Hagerstown's North End Wednesday night.

Onlookers sat on blankets and atop cars staring into the sky from the parking lot of Long Meadow Shopping Center on Potomac Avenue. Hundreds turned out for an Independence Day tradition dating back nearly 40 years, according to fireworks show coordinator Debra Hunt.

Renee Barbe, 18, traveled from Cumberland, Md., to see the show with her sister and other family members.

Yvonne Carbaugh of Hagerstown said she used to take her children to the show years ago. She said she can remember when the parking lot crowds were so large that people were shoulder-to-shoulder.

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"It's a good turnout, but the crowd has really slimmed down," she said.

People also watched the show from the lawns and driveways of homes nearby. Officials said an estimated 5,000 people watched from the parking lot of the shopping center and the surrounding area.

In keeping with tradition, Hunt said the fireworks show is always held on the Wednesday or Friday before the July Fourth holiday. She said this year's show was held Wednesday night to avoid conflicts with upcoming fireworks displays.

Zambelli Fireworks International of New Castle, Pa., put on Wednesday's show.

Before the fireworks kicked off at 9:30 p.m., adults and children danced to the sounds of such classics as Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's "Old Time Rock & Roll" performed by the local band Spectrum.

"I'm excited to see the fireworks," said 5-year-old Georgia Buttry as she giggled and danced to the band.

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