WHEELING – Fireworks, fanfare and entertainment will return to the heritage port of Wheeling on Independence Day.
After a year of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wheeling Symphony, City of Wheeling and WVU Medicine will present the Celebrate America concert on July 4 at Heritage Port.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., with the following fireworks display at dusk.
Local officials who gathered at Heritage Port on Thursday afternoon for the official announcement said they were extremely excited for the event to return to the waterfront.
They are also delighted to see the start of a return to normalcy locally.
John Devlin, Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, said he was eager to see the crowds return for the celebration.
“We’re incredibly excited,” Devlin said. “This is the first time that our full orchestra will be back with a live audience. I think it will be a good thing for everyone downtown to be able to come and revitalize this waterfront property here and celebrate the town of Wheeling and the 4th of July.
“I think there are all these little signs that we’re getting back to normal,” he added, “and that’s definitely one of them.”
Devlin said the Wheeling Symphony plans to play “a lot of patriotic music” that will be familiar to everyone. The concert will feature Broadway star Bronson Norris Murphy, who will celebrate some of Broadway’s favorite songs on stage. In addition, the fireworks display will join the orchestra’s last two patriotic selections: Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Wheeling Mayor Glen Elliott has said he looks forward to the Independence Day celebration.
“It’s just one more step towards our return to normalcy that we have really taken this year,” he said. “The last year has been difficult for everyone, a lot of businesses, a lot of people have really suffered, and with the economy kind of starting to restart with the virus in remission and here locally with the vaccinations in instead, it’s exciting to see things come back in action. I couldn’t be more excited to hear great music here at Heritage Port on July 4th.
WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital CEO Doug Harrison said this was the hospital’s second year sponsoring the event.
“It’s such a wonderful community event,” he said. “One of our goals at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital is to be more community-oriented and to give back, and that fits perfectly with that mission.
“We are very lucky to have a symphony in a city of this size,” he added, “and I hope people realize how lucky we are to have something like this in our backyard. -court, so having this event and being a sponsor is very important to us.
WVU Medicine Reynolds Hospital Chief Operating Hospital Tony Martinelli joined in the joy all organizers are feeling for the return of the event.
“With the merger of the two hospitals, it gives us a little more ability to sponsor events like this cooperatively,” he said. “We’re so thrilled to have people to be able to come together again.”