West Palm Beach will host its annual free Independence Day celebration – 4th on Flagler – on July 4, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 10 pm. on the Waterfront. Themed, ‘This 4th was Made for You and Me: Celebrating great moments and places in America,’ guests can expect the largest fireworks display in south Florida, fun, festive photo opportunities where they can put their face in history with “face –in–hole” photo boards depicting famous moments in U.S. history and a 640-pound cheese sculpture mirroring Mount Rushmore. Other highlights include a firefighters ‘Splash –and –Dash’ competition pitting local municipal fire services head-to-head in a heated competition and ‘all –American’ activities for children. More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend.
During 4th on Flagler, national recording artist Duncan will open for Epic Records artist and The X Factor finalist, Chris Rene, as part of a WILD 95.5.hour that culminates with the fireworks and is part of an evening jam-packed with live music at the Meyer Amphitheatre and Palm Stage by Blue Audio, Cover Up, Riptide and Jeff Harding.
A military salute at 8:40 p.m. will feature a speech by Mayor Muoio, a plaque presentation to members of the military and the unfurling of a five-story American flag by repelling West Palm Beach firefighters on the Esplanade Grande building. The salute also will include a crowd-wide Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem by hometown favorite, Lou Galterio. Members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and West Palm Beach Fire-Rescue honor guard will be on stage during the presentation.
The largest fireworks display in south Florida begins at 9 p.m. with 16 minutes of dazzling pyrotechnics over the Intracoastal Waterway set to music and simulcast over KOOL 105.5 FM and MIA 92.1. Fans of the City’s Facebook page chose the song “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood to be played during the grand finale.
Also destined to be a major 4th on Flagler highlight, guests are invited to the Lake Pavilion for ‘My Country ‘Tis of Cheese,’ a dairy display of epic proportions featuring the 640-pound cheese sculpture of Mount Rushmore by national cheese sculpting artist, Troy Landwehr. This professional cheese carver and Wisconsin native first started carving cheese at 11-years old. A national celebrity for his distinctive handiwork, Landwehr has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The David Lettermen Show. He has created cheese sculptures up to 1,200 pounds for companies such as Disney, Cheez-It and the NFL. The West Palm Beach ‘Big Cheese’ will be carved in City Hall on July 2 and 3, 2012, and displayed in the Lake Pavilion during the event.
The Lake Pavilion’s My Country ‘Tis of Cheese will include the Enforcer Motorcycle Club’s impressively patriotic Harley Davidson Motorcycle exhibit, ‘cheesy’ games, “Say Cheese” photo op, foods and fun!
Following the event, the cheese will be donated to The Lord’s Place, a Palm Beach County-based nonprofit organization that has been changing the lives of homeless families and individuals for more than 30 years. Clients in The Lord's Place Chefs’ Apprentice program will be on-site on July 3, 2012, to learn the art of cheese carving from Troy Landwehr.
Pops of Patriotism lead up to the event
As 4th on Flagler approaches, look for unexpected ‘Pops of Patriotism’ on Clematis Street. On June 14, 2012, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. patriotic stilt walkers will greet guests as “face –in –hole” photo boards are revealed throughout the Downtown area and Waterfront where they will remain until July 4, 2012. These ‘smile stations’ will depict famous moments and places in history such as the first moon landing, the statue of liberty and Mount Rushmore.
From June 27 to July 3, 2012, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. actors will re-enact notable moments in history, including the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the flag raising at Iwo Jima and the first steps on the moon on Clematis Street. These Pops of Patriotism will also appear at the Summer Thyme GreenMarket on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at Clematis by Night on Thursday, June 28, 2012, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be sold on-site. For more information, visit www.wpb.org/4th.