|Crowds gather for the 2016 fireworks at Tower Park. This year's fireworks will feature live music by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.|
This year's Fourth of July Celebration brings many changes and additions thanks to the Sesquicentennial Celebration, which is turning out to be a remarkably full and exciting week thanks to the dedication (and countless hours of time) given by people in the community committed to celebrating our city's 150th birthday in style.
One line item in the 150 Celebration Schedule is a perfect example of this: The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will be playing during this year's fireworks.
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It was past their bedtime.
"My wife and I were at the house watching Macy's NYC fireworks on TV and they do a fantastic job pairing the NYC Philharmonic and the Symphony singers with patriotic music for the Macy's NYC 4th of July fireworks spectacular," he says. "I thought out loud to my wife, 'I wonder if we do that in Fort Thomas next year for the 150th anniversary of the town?'"
Turns out, we can. And we have.
Sand sent a text to City of Fort Thomas Renaissance Manager and Economic Development Director Debbie Buckley that night. "She took the ball and ran with it," Sand says. "She contacted the folks at KSO [Kentucky Symphony Orchestra] and they are working on the program as we speak."
Sand says July 4th is his favorite day of the year in Fort Thomas. "I love the parade and seeing all the families and friends celebrating," he says. "I didn't think anyone in the greater Cincinnati area had ever done something similar. And what a cool way to celebrate the 4th—patriotic music synced with a spectacular fireworks display in a town filled with military history, a park with a veterans hospital located in the middle of it, and an active U.S. Army Reserve unit. It doesn't get more patriotic than that in my opinion."
KSO (originally called Northern Kentucky Symphony) was formed in 1992. "Since its inception, the KSO has demonstrated a unique ability to make the concert experience relevant and entertaining to its audiences while maintaining high performance standards and integrity." Some past examples of this are KSO concerts that included comedians, poetry readings, zoo animals, dancers and even Civil War battle re-enactments.
"It's going to be an incredible week in Fort Thomas," Sand says. "There are so many events to celebrate our town's 150th birthday. I think folks will find that the planning committee has really outdone themselves and they are going to make it a week to remember. They've been working hard for over a year to provide a unique set of programming that will attract folks from every demographic. Hats off to the volunteers in our town that make these types of events successful. We truly live in a special place."