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Go fourth and …

• Participate in the Rochester Jaycees Kids Parade. Signup starts at 10:30 a.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, 400 Fifth Ave. S.W. The parade route runs to the Peace Plaza.

• Visit the Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The exhibit arrives at Peace Plaza around noon Friday and will be on display until noon Sunday. A program, including a wreath-laying and guest speaker, is planned for 4 p.m.

• Watch the fireworks downtown, either from the top of a city parking ramp, or projected (by camera) onto the side of the Siebens Building. The fireworks are scheduled to start at 10 p.m.

(In case of rain, the fireworks will be held on July 5.)


By Jeffrey Pieters

Ooo. Ahh. Yum.

Rochester’s July 4 fireworks show will be more than just a feast for the eyes. It’s a citywide, nonperishable food drive for Channel One Food Bank.

"Their demand is way up, and their supply this time of the year is down," said Joe Powers, a sponsor of the fireworks show for the first time. The Post-Bulletin previously put on Rochester’s fireworks.

There will be about 10 food collection points set up around Silver Lake Park, where the largest crowds gather to watch the fireworks.

Powers, who owns the Canadian Honker restaurant, is co-sponsoring the fireworks with Rochester businessmen Gus and Andy Chafoulias.

"We were trying to think what you can do for Channel One in these times," Powers said. "What we came up with was fireworks. When I brought that to Ardell (Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede), he was really excited about it, really jumped on it."


There will also be a place to drop off donations on the downtown Peace Plaza, and at Powers’ restaurant and Andy’s Liquor stores for two weeks after the event, Powers said.

The show will be bigger than any past display, with about 13,000 shells to be fired. Last year’s show used about 9,000 shells.

That doesn’t mean a longer show, but a fuller one, with less time between detonations, said Terry Meiley, a pyrotechnic with J&M Displays, which puts on the show.

Said Powers: "The grand finale should be the biggest grand finale of all time."

In addition to the main show, which will begin around 10 p.m., J&M will present a red, white and blue-themed display at 9:45 p.m. That coincides with the Rochester Concert Band’s 13-song tribute to veterans. The band performance starts at 8:30 p.m.

The concert will also feature a "21-gun salute" — a firing of 21 percussion fireworks.

"It’s going to be the band concert as usual, with some additional surprises thrown in," said Deana Carr, operations coordinator with Rochester Civic Music.

There’s even more on the program — almost too much to list. The Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be presented on Peace Plaza, where there will also be live music performances from 2 p.m. until after the fireworks.


"It’s kind of taken off," Powers said. "We hope to get into more of an all-day festival next year. We did as much as we could this year. We can build from there."

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