Thousands attend concert, fireworks in Boardman Park
By Josh Stipanovich
Thousands of people visited Boardman Park on Saturday night where the Youngstown Symphonic Band and Seraphim Chorus played and fireworks lit the sky as a part of the township’s annual Independence Day celebration.
The concert started at 8 p.m. at the Maag Theatre followed by a fireworks show by Colonial Fireworks.
“The fireworks are very exhilarating,” spectator Robin Stape said of previous Independence Day celebrations at the park.
“There’s a long tradition here at the park,” Daniel Slagle Jr., park executive director, said, noting he expected up to 4,000 people to attend. “[I hope] everybody enjoys it and celebrates the independence of our country.”
Township Administrator Jason Loree was there and said Boardman’s Independence Day celebration is unique because a band always plays before the fireworks show.
“There’s a certain type of feel when you go to Boardman Park,” he said.
He added that the show wouldn’t be possible without the work of Slagle and his staff.
“I have to commend Slagle. He’s got it down,” Loree said. “They really go above and beyond.”
Slagle said the cost of this year’s fireworks was $7,000 to $8,000. The township paid $3,500 after a 50 percent discount, he said.
Sharleen Spuhler and her friend Joellen Parnell attended with their children as the Youngstown Symphonic Band opened with “Strike Up the Band.”
Spuhler traveled from Akron to catch the show.
“My friend said it would be a great time,” Spuhler said. “I don’t think I will be [disappointed]. I think it’s going to be a great time.”
Parnell, of Youngstown, was at Boardman Park for the second-consecutive year. With her were her 4- and 5-year-old children and some of the neighbor kids.
“We came out last year and greatly enjoyed it. [The children] are all very excited to see the fireworks and listen to the band. They get into it and dance,” Parnell said. “We’re just here to spectate and enjoy and be patriotic.”