Fans of Falmouth fireworks will line the shore of Falmouth Heights Beach on the Fourth of July. The theme for the 38th year of the Falmouth holiday event commemorates the centennial of Irving Berlin’s classic “God Bless America.” The Falmouth fireworks display has become a beloved community tradition enjoyed by thousands.
To Arthur Ratsy, the man responsible for starting the Falmouth fireworks display, the fireworks provide a way to “celebrate our independence and the love we have for this country.” What the fireworks do for the Falmouth community, he said, is that it “brings families together.”
As she does every year, artist Karen Rinaldo designed the T-shirts that are already popping up around town. Ms. Rinaldo said she “used the image of an actual photo from last year’s show to depict two aerial shells that were timed with a ground firing to complete a colorful heart.” The image is ideal for the shirt’s message, “Land that I love.” Irving Berlin wrote the anthem in 1918 as a national inspiration during World War I.
Ms. Rinaldo recognized its centennial significance by embedding “100th” into the graphic on the T-shirt. “The T-shirts have become collectors’ items for many families who look forward to this weekend as a way to outfit themselves and have a remembrance of this event,” said Lois D’Amelio, Falmouth Fireworks Committee chairman. All funds collected are used to cover the cost of the fireworks.
The Falmouth Fireworks Committee sets up early in the day on the adjacent Falmouth Heights ballfield. The committee has reserved the field for the entire day so workmen can set up staging and fans can stake out spots for their chairs and blankets for the evening’s activities.
This will be the 30th year that Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group has produced the Falmouth show; chief executive officer Stephen Pelkey has sponsored pre-fireworks entertainment with a concert by Ayla Brown.
Fans of “American Idol” will recognize Ayla Brown from her successful run on the popular television show and subsequent concert tours. Ms. Brown is also the daughter of Scott Brown, former Massachusetts senator and current ambassador to New Zealand, and Gail Huff, a former Boston television news reporter. Ms. Brown, a country singer-songwriter, will take the stage at 7 PM and will perform two 45-minute sets.
Prior to Ms. Brown’s performance, Rare Ould Times will take the stage starting at 5:30 PM. The ensemble, which frequently performs at Grumpy’s Pub and The Quarterdeck Restaurant, will play Irish, country and other popular tunes.
“They welcome requests and play them quite well,” said Kevin M. Doyle, a Falmouth Fireworks Committee member. The musical programs are a “rousing prelude to the fireworks display that will start at 9:05 PM.”
Mr. Doyle added that “Travel and Leisure Magazine has named Falmouth as one of the 10 best shows in the country, and this year’s show promises to live up to that reputation.”
The fireworks display is programmed to burst in sync with music to be simulcast on the Cape Cod Radio network stations, including PIXY 103 and Y101. A radio host will broadcast from Falmouth Heights throughout the afternoon.
T-shirts are currently being sold at the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce on Main Street and The Gallery on Main, located between Blast from the Past and Country Fare Restaurant. In addition, T-shirts and hats will be sold at Stop & Shop, Windfall Market, Shaw’s and Kappy’s on the weekend of June 29 until supplies run out. Adult shirts and hats are $20 and children’s shirts are $15.
Mr. Doyle said, “You can help sponsor the show by wearing the T-shirts and hats or contributing a gift of any size at any of the ‘Operation Final Push’ locations.”
Vehicle parking will be restricted, and for safety purposes any cars parked in the areas of temporary bans will be towed starting at 5 PM. Vehicle access into the Heights will close at 6:30 PM.
“Anyone who finds anything that looks like an unexploded shell should call 911 immediately and we will dispatch a team to pick it up,” Fire Rescue Chief Michael Small said. “This is a regular part of our July 4th activities and we are prepared to handle the ordnance and remove it to a safe place to be destroyed.”
Falmouth Police Chief Edward A. Dunne reinforced these comments. Atlas PyroVision assigns a crew to inspect the shoreline after every barge-launched show, but sometimes it can take several days for a shell to wash ashore.