The Times West Virginian

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July 3, 2014

Go ‘Red, White & Boom!’ July 4

Josh Gracin concert, fireworks highlight Palatine Park celebration

FAIRMONT — Palatine Park will be full of people and patriotism Friday during Fairmont’s “Red, White & Boom!” celebration.

Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and festivities start at 4:15 p.m. with Mama Corn, a bluegrass band from Pennsylvania.

The Marshall Lowry Band, a country and bluegrass trio with members from Fairmont, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and country rock singer Katie Ohh will follow at 7 p.m.

Josh Gracin, a country singer who got his start on “American Idol,” will headline the show. He takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.

“A lot of people don’t know what to expect from my show because my music has been all over the map from fast, slow to midtempo to stuff that really doesn’t sound like country music. It’s a very high-energy show. It’s a very fun show, and we make sure that the audience has a good time,” Gracin said.

Gracin told fans to expect to hear his older songs that have been on the radio as well as some new songs and some “cool covers.”

“We do a really cool Aerosmith medley,” he said. “We pay homage to Aerosmith at the end of the show, so it’s gonna be a good time.”

Food vendors will provide snacks and refreshments, and the splash park will be open until 9 p.m.

“I think it’ll be a big day with everything going on, and the weather is supposed to be really nice,” said Butch Tennant, Marion County Commission president.

Tennant encouraged guests to bring their own chairs, and he asked that visitors leave their pets at home.

Concertgoers are also able to bring their own coolers, he said.

“I just want everybody to be well-behaved,” Tennant joked.

The county commission expects a turnout of around 2,000 people or more.

The night will conclude with one of the largest fireworks displays Fairmont has seen, Tennant said.

“The fireworks are going to be big this year,” he said. “They’re going to be off the High Level Bridge, so you’ll be able to see them from a lot more area and really have a good view from Palatine Park.”

The bridge will be closed to traffic from 9-11 p.m.

Drivers should plan to cross the Third Street Bridge at that time, Tennant advised.

While the Fourth of July is a day of celebration and fun, Gracin takes time to remember that America has united and fought many times to better the country throughout history. He feels this is particularly important this year because of the country’s differing opinions regarding current social and political issues, he said.

Before and after “American Idol,” the singer served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his uncle served in the Army for 20 years.

“It’s always fun to be able to come and do these types of shows because the crowd is just wanting to have a good time and they’re anticipating the fireworks, and the whole day and what it stands for is also a big part of why people are there,” Gracin said.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

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