Fireworks added to Fourth of July fest

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MEXICO – The River Valley area is to have fireworks after all for the Fourth of July, albeit three days prior.

Friends of the Mexico Recreation Park announced in a Friday night statement that they’ve added a 30-minute fireworks display to their two-day second annual Mountain Music Festival on July 1 and 2 at the park off Route 17.

“We wanted to make sure the River Valley had some fireworks for the kids and the community this year,” Recreation Park Director Greg Arsenault stated in the release.

He was referring to last week’s announcement by Rumford’s Moontide Festival Committee that due to financial restraints it is unable to have its annual fireworks display, which has been billed as the largest in Maine.

The rain or shine music festival is to feature Emmy award-winning recording artist Bill Chinook and his All-Star Band, The Don Campbell Band, and local talent, Barney Martin with band Coos Canyon, and guitarist Jim Gallant.

In addition to the fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, July 1, there is to be a car Cruise In, and Car Burnout, children’s carnival, family events, a flea market/craft fair, motorcycle rodeo, and more, promoter and Friends of the Mexico Recreation Park chairman Matt Gallant said.

“This is going to be a tremendous show! I’m hoping for 1,000 people each day. We have enough room to house 5,000 people!” Gallant said recently.

Gallant detailed plans for the festival at Wednesday night’s Mexico Board of Selectmen meeting, garnering unanimous support from selectmen and Town Manager John Madigan.

Friends of the Mexico Recreation Park is a nonprofit group organized by concerned citizen advocates to focus attention on the park’s deteriorated condition. They also plan to raise funds for repairs and upgrades necessary to continue running the facility.

“By restoring this community heirloom, today’s kids and future generations within the surrounding communities will be able to enjoy this riverfront property once again,” Arsenault added.

The group’s promoter and chairman, Matt Gallant, stated in the release that their initial goal is to raise $25,000 to match a state Land and Water Conservation Fund grant “that will bring us a total of $50,000 to get us started.”

The initial monies raised are to upgrade playground equipment, restroom facilities, and the concession stand.

Gallant said a future goal is to build a multipurpose facility to house and fund various recreation activities and community programs.

“Corporate sponsorships are still welcome, with a definite need for volunteers now and during the music festival,” Gallant said. Tickets for Sunday’s concert are $15. They are available through all Bull Moose Music stores, and are expected to be sold locally.

“With Saturday’s admission free, and Sunday free for kids 10 and under, our hope is that people will bring the whole family, spread a blanket, and just enjoy a great day in the foothills of Western Maine,” Gallant said.

For more information, contact Stephanie Gallant at 364-0808 or visit www.themountainmusicfestival.com.

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