|By G. Michael Dobbs|
SPRINGFIELD Thanks to a contribution by MGM Resorts International, this year's audience at Star Spangled Springfield will have an extra entertainment treat: a free performance by the legendary group The Commodores.
The Grammy-winning group is well known for its string of hits that include "Brick House," "Three Times a Lady" and "Night Shift."
They will be performing along with the Dan Kane Singers and Fireworks by Grucci. Judith Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield, which presents the annual Fourth of July fireworks, noted that well-known local singer Vanessa Ford has recorded her version of "America," which will be used by Grucci to accompany a fireworks display.
Major sponsorship for the fireworks has been provided once more by MassMutual.
"MassMutual is proud to continue our tradition of supporting the Spirit of Springfield and the city's annual July 4 festivities. We look forward to this year's events being a truly star spangled celebration of American heritage," Nick Fyntrilakis, vice president for Community Responsibility for MassMutual, said.
"MGM looks forward to once again participating in the Spirit of Springfield's annual Fourth of July festivities," Kelley Tucky, vice president of Public Affairs East Coast for MGM Resorts International, said. "The Commodores legendary sound is familiar to every generation. We have all danced to their hits like 'Brick House' and 'Night Shift' and MGM is excited to get people dancing to them again at this great Springfield tradition."
Mayor Domenic Sarno said the annual event draws about 100,000 people to Riverfront Park and downtown and noted in the past 22 years, "there has never been a problem."
The evening will begin on July 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Riverfront Park's Festival Field with a performance by Dan Kane Singers. They will be followed at 8 p.m. by The Commodores and then will be the fireworks presentation. There will be a musical simulcast on Mix 93.1 FM.
Star Spangled Springfield, in addition to being sponsored by MassMutual, is supported by Tower Square, MGM Springfield, Balise Motor Sales, WWLP-22News, Mix 93.1FM, The Republican, Springfield Parking Authority, Elegant Affairs, Michael's Party Rentals, 90 Meat Outlet, Charlie Arment Trucking, Joseph Freedman Company, United Tractor Trailer School and the City of Springfield.
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