Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day 2011 Concert & Fireworks at Laurel Lakes

Incredible.  That's about all that can be said for a day where the weather was admittedly pretty hot, but when considering the typical Maryland weather in July it was about as perfect as a day can get!

As we celebrated the nation's 235th birthday a crowd of well over 100,000 people was somewhere within listening distance of the band!  The hillside in front of the stage filled rapidly as the concert progressed, until there were people literrally as far as the eye could see.

Down in front of the stage, the area with an obstructed view of the fireworks became the defacto dance floor as hundreds came down to move & sway to the tunes.

Then there were the kids.  There were so many wide eyed, completely mesmerized expressions out there it became difficult at times to focus on any one.  Cute doesn't begin to describe it.  You've really got to see it.

There were lots of special folks in attendance.  Mayor Craig Moe of Laurel...what can we say about this guy?  He's a roll up your sleeves and get the job done kind of guy, comfortable with delegating authority yet on top of the details as they go forward.  We greeted Lt. Governor Anthony Brown on was our second meeting with him. 
Our trumpet player Steve Kimbell's mother Carol stopped by to catch the show & fireworks.  She had a great time taking in the concert, talking with our backstage guests, & enjoying the spectacular fireworks display.

We would be remiss if we didn't make mention of a group who are often overlooked at events such as these, and that would be the men & women of the Laurel Police Department.  Crowd control for a group of 100,000 plus people is a thankless job.  They must weigh the safety of the majority while allowing folks to enjoy themselves without being overbearing.  While 99.999% of the people there were on hand to have a great time, there are always a very few who feel the need to overindulge in chemical recreation or are perhaps intent on more sinister actions.  We rely on these folks to make sure that we are kept safe & that the scoundrels are dealt with accordingly.  We saw them in action and would like to take the opportunity of saying "job well done", and to thank them for the professional manner in which they did their jobs.  So, to all the members of the Laurel Police Department, and to any other law enforcement personnel who were there working security, we'd like to extend a big "THANK YOU"!!!

A big shout goes out to Mike and the crew with Buffalo Sound who provided the monster PA system we used.  They were there at 8:00 in the morning getting the PA array set up, flown, and ready to go. 

Then there is Kay Harrison.  The lady in charge.  The boss.  The easiest, nicest person you would ever want to work with, yet there is never any doubt that she is the one running this show, as the coordinator for all of the Independence Day activities, from the morning parade to vendors in the field to the car show to the concert to the fireworks, and finally the big clean up afterwards.  It's a job that would have some running for cover, but Kay handles it with such efficiency you would think the whole day ran by itself.

We have a tentative invitation to return again for next year, so as soon as the engagement is confirmed we'll let everyone know.

In the meantime, here are the photos from the day.  Hope you enjoy them!  You can tag and make comments on them by going to our FaceBook Page, or you can see them on the website in hi resolution at the Oracle Band Laurel Independence Day 2011 Concert Photo Gallery, right click, and save them if there are photos you would like to have for yourself to remember the day.  Feel free.

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