Independence Day fireworks returning to Springfield
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | June 12,2013
SPRINGFIELD — Independence Day fireworks are returning to Springfield this year, but residents will have to wait an extra two days until July 6, to see them.
The fireworks will return after a seven-year hiatus, said John Caceres, of Vermont Telephone Co., or VTel, which is footing the bill for the celebration at Hartness State Airport.
Caceres said the main celebration will start at 5 p.m., with food vendors, concessions, an antique car show and band music. The fireworks will start shortly after 9 p.m., he said.
Caceres said that the fireworks show was shooting for 5,500 “effects,” and that VTel was firming up its contract with the fireworks company, likely Northstar of East Montpelier.
“We want it to be a Vermont show,” said Caceres.
Also part of the celebration will be the Hartness State Airport Awareness Day, which will start at 2 p.m. and include an air show of acrobatic planes. He said there will also be planes on the tarmac for the public to view, as well as plane rides.
Caceres said that VTel president Michel Guite wanted to restore the popular fireworks show to Springfield, and Caceres said he had been told the show had been a regional attraction on Independence Day. He declined to say how much VTel was spending on the fireworks show.
Bob Flint, executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corp., who is on the planning committee for the celebration, said the celebration was planned once the group had approval from the state to use the airport.
“I’m so glad fireworks are returning to Springfield if not on the Fourth of July, then very close to the Fourth of July,” said Flint, adding the planning group was meeting later this week to finalize additional plans. “This will be a large fireworks show.”
Flint said in the past VTel had always been a big financial supporter of the fireworks show, which hasn’t been held for several years largely for financial reasons.
Caceres said he wasn’t sure why the show wasn’t being held on the Fourth of July, but he said the event on a Saturday would likely allow more people to attend. He said admittance to Hartness State Airport would be free.
Caceres said the celebration would be alcohol free, and he said that during the fireworks the airport would be shut down.
“The fireworks haven’t happened for seven years, it was missed in the community. We just wanted to support the community and have a nice community launch for our new wireless products,” he said.
Caceres said VTel was “rebranding” the original name of the wireless Internet service, currently called “WOW.”
Caceres said that food vendors and concessions would not be charged to set up for the festivities as VTel did not want to make money on the event.
Individuals or businesses wanting to participate should contact Caceres or his assistant Patricia Sliker at VTel in Springfield at 885-9000, or (800) 279-4049.