FAIRMONT – Although fireworks weren’t scheduled to light up the eyes at Palatine Park until 10 p.m., it was packed with people in the early afternoon of Independence Day.
As the day rolled on, the grassy hills would only become more crowded which was nothing but a good sign for John Provins, events director for Palatine Park. He said he thought the free entertainment leading up to the fireworks was a good mix of forms which held individuals’ attention.
“The wrestling is an absolutely perfect addition,” he said. “I think the crowd is going to be immense.”
The wrestling Provins was referring to was the lead show of Real Shoot Wrestling that kicked off Palatine Park’s Fourth festivities at 4 p.m.
The promotion saw matches between professional wrestlers who leaped around the ring throwing kicks and punches, with body slams and clotheslines thrown in for good measure. For the wrestlers and the promoter, obtaining a gig like this is a blessing, as well as a sign they are doing something right.
“Any time we’re in a situation like this where we get to give back for a celebration like this on the Fourth of July, it makes you feel good,” said Tim Cross, founder of Real Shoot Wrestling. “Pro wrestling – it is everything combined you would ever want at one time. There’s drama, there’s action, there’s funny parts, serious parts. It’s everything and the guys out there busting their butts, they’re doing it for the entertainment of the crowd.”
Being able to entertain the crowd on a holiday nonetheless was a good opportunity for all who performed Thursday because it essentially attracted the numbers for them. Following the wrestling show, the band Trial by Fire played a set of songs, grateful they were able to help the people celebrate.
“It’s a great opportunity to reach out to the community of Fairmont,” said Adam Menear, lead singer of the band Trial by Fire. “Palatine Park brings people here locally, gets people to see the beautiful development they’ve done down here, so it’s kind of just an honor to be here for the fireworks celebrating Independence Day.”
For some of the Trial by Fire songs, the band received some accompaniment in the form of dance from the Kickin’ It Country dance team, which showed off some moves by the stage choreographed to the band’s music. The occasion was an honor for the dancers as well, who got to perform choreography specially crafted for the band’s songs.
“We’re super excited about it,” said Connie Stewart, founder and choreographer of Kickin’ It Country dance team. “It’s a medley of some top hit songs and it’s a sample of many many different dances we do. Hopefully, it’s entertaining to the crowd.”
Rissi Palmer’s performance followed and led directly into the fireworks show when mortars were fired to explode into the sky from the High Level Bridge.
Provins saw the day as another success in Palatine Park’s line of annual of Independence Day events, thanks to the cooperation of the performers and the work of the maintenance workers who make it all happen.
However, he is already eyeing next year’s Fourth of July to ensure that it is as successful as all year’s previous, which he believes can be done thanks to the day it falls on.
“Next year I’ll be looking at more events during the day to make it more all-day,” Provins said. “And next year it’s on a Saturday too so that will make a difference.”