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Fairgrounds Park hosts annual Fourth of July celebration

July 04, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

The Durboraw family heard good things about Hagerstown's Fourth of July celebration at Fairgrounds Park and decided to check it out for the first time this holiday weekend.

On Saturday night, they were seated at the park awaiting fireworks.

"I like seeing how they go up as one and then burst," 9-year-old John Durboraw said when asked what he likes about fireworks.

The colorful bursts weren't the only thing in the sky over the city Saturday night.

Just before 6:30 p.m., three vintage planes from the Hagerstown Aviation Museum flew overhead, circled back and flew over the waving crowd twice more.

For Jose Acevedo, an Air Force veteran, this was his first time at the Fairgrounds celebration. He wanted to see the flyover, he said.

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"I love old planes," Acevedo said. "You don't see pre-World War II trainers. That was a real treat."

Other families attend the fireworks show at Fairgrounds Park every year.

"It's very close. It's relaxing here," Sharon Kronawetter of Hagerstown said. "The fireworks are great, really fantastic."

She had made a picnic of chicken legs, hot wings and deviled eggs for the evening, then rested under a tent "enjoying the quiet" as her family wandered around the park.

Pat and Mac Mcilvain live in Florida, but planned their vacation around visiting Hagerstown and enjoying the fireworks show, the couple said Saturday.

It was their fifth year at the event.

She enjoys all of the people and "watching everybody come together," Pat Mcilvain said.

Her father, Harry Stains, lives in Hagerstown. Stains enjoys the music and the people, he said.

The annual celebration began eight years ago. Fairgrounds Park had just been renovated, and it was a good spot for such an event, said Karen Giffin, community affairs director for the City of Hagerstown.

About 15,000 people were expected to attend Saturday's event, Giffin said.

The fireworks show was to feature almost 16,000 shells, she said.

By 7 p.m., Fairgrounds Park was filling with people buying food from vendors, making crafts in the children's section and picnicking in the grass.

Other families stayed in the parking lot, hanging out in the back of pickup trucks or in chairs set up on the sidewalk.

Saturday was to be the first time Jordan Taylor, 17 months, saw fireworks, said her mother, Casey Taylor.

Grandmother Stefanie Hart was taking pictures of her family, seated on chairs and a blanket in the grass.

Casey Taylor expected her young daughter to like the fireworks.

"I think she'll love them," she said. "She likes loud stuff."

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