PORTLAND – Fireworks and music by the Portland Symphony Orchestra will be part of the Independence Day celebrations on the Eastern Promenade again this year.

The 2nd annual Stars and Stripes Spectacular is being organized by the July 4th Portland Foundation, a nonprofit group created to privately fund Maine’s largest Independence Day celebration. The inaugural event drew an estimated 60,000 spectators, with thousands of others watching from the shores of nearby communities and from boats on Casco Bay.

The founders of the foundation stepped up last year after it looked like the city’s fireworks display would fall victim to budget cuts. The foundation was created by Jon Jennings, president and general manager of the Maine Red Claws NBA Development League basketball team; Jack Quirk, owner of Quirk Chevrolet; Michael Dubyak, chairman and chief executive officer of Wright Express; and Richard Connor, editor and publisher of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

The founders originally committed to covering the $45,000 bill for the fireworks display and related costs, Jennings said. They then decided they wanted to enhance the celebration. The addition of “Patriotic Pops” brought the total cost to about $115,000, to which individuals and other businesses contributed, Jennings said.

“It was one of those things. If we did it, we wanted to do it right,” he said.

The founders knew they were getting involved for the long haul, and not just for a year or two.

“The 2010 event was spectacular, and we look forward to working with the city of Portland to continue to make this a destination event for many years to come,” Connor said.

For more information, go to www.july4thportland.org.