Warner Robins concert, fireworks rescheduled for Sunday

efarlow@macon.comJuly 3, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Rain soaked the field of McCon­nell-Talbert Stadium on Wednesday night, and what was supposed to be the final farewell of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve was canceled.

The band’s rock ensemble, Reserve Generation, was scheduled to play at the Independence Celebration concert and fireworks, along with Southern rock band Stillwater and actress and singer Bobbie Eakes.

The event now has been rescheduled for Sunday.

Mike Causey, of Still­water, said rain got the sound equipment wet.

Safety then became the main concern.

“Nobody wants to get electrocuted,” Causey said. He said he and the other members of Stillwater still wanted to play some music and might go into town just to play.

The call to reschedule the event was made about 5 p.m., one hour before gates were scheduled to open for the evening.

“It was very difficult to just stop the whole thing,” Mayor Chuck Shaheen said.

The concert and fireworks should go on as planned Sunday, with Stillwater and Bobbie Eakes performing.

However, three members of Reserve Generation leave Thursday morning as part of their reassignment, said Douglas Tejada, bass player for Reserve Generation and noncommissioned officer in charge.

The Reserve band is being inactivated due to Air Force cost-cutting measures, and members are being dispersed.

That means only Tejada and one singer will be able to attend the rescheduled event.

“We might be able to sit in with Stillwater, but it wouldn’t be in the capacity of a band,” Tejada said. “It’s a shame that our last performance didn’t materialize.”

Regardless, Shaheen said Warner Robins still will honor the Reserve band Sunday. The Independence Celebration was more than a concert, he said. It was meant to honor the Reserve band, which has been in Warner Robins since the 1960s.

Faced with cutbacks, Air Force Reserve Command, which is based at Robins Air Force Base, was unable to put on the concert this year. But several local businesses gave large donations, and the city gave $30,000 for the event.

When asked how much rescheduling the concert and fireworks would cost the city, Shaheen said, “We don’t know how much at this point,” but rescheduling the event and canceling it entirely would cost the city about the same amount of money.

“We wished it would have been different,” said Shaheen. “For the last 30 years, (Air Force Reserve Command) has put on this concert.”

The Independence Celebration will be held Sunday at McConnell-Talbert Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m., the concert starts at 8 p.m., and fireworks are scheduled to end the night at 10 p.m.

To contact writer Emily Farlow, call 744-4225.

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