TRACK DOWN your sparklers and your best red, white and blue garb and head out to see the fireworks this weekend.

As usual, a number of Greater Portland communities will light up the sky on Saturday, with the rest letting loose the patriotic spirit on Sunday, which is the Fourth of July.

Portland’s light show on Sunday is expected to draw the biggest crowds, with an estimated 50,000 people watching from the land and sea. Called the “Stars and Stripes Spectacular,” this year’s display includes a rousing live performance by the Portland Symphony Orchestra (see Page E27). The concert will be broadcast live throughout the state on MPBN radio stations.

Should you plan to watch the show in Portland, you’ll want to remember that the city shuts down all streets leading up Munjoy Hill at 4 p.m. It’s a good idea to wear a pair of comfortable shoes to ease your trek up the hill.

Vendors selling food, drinks and trinkets set up at noon, and many people bring beach chairs, blankets and picnic food and camp out for the entire afternoon. Due to the crowds and loud noises, the city asks that pets be left at home.

Should you have cash to spend, pony up $1,000 and you’ll score a table for 10 near the symphony stage, two parking passes and free transportation on the Narrow Gauge Railroad for 10. Or reserve five seats and one parking spot for $500. All proceeds go to support future Fourth of July festivities.

If you’d rather avoid the crush of people on the Eastern Prom, there are a number of options for viewing the fireworks off the hill. Many people watch them from the water, where boats anchor in the northeast section of the harbor facing the city.

Other popular viewing spots include Payson Park, Cheverus High School, Baxter Boulevard (including the parking lot across from Hannaford), the top decks of parking garages, Bug Light and Spring Point in South Portland, and the Ferry Terminal on Peaks Island.

The rain date is Monday.


Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

[email protected]