WARNER ROBINS -- The citys Independence Day Celebration could bring some of the poignancy that last years rain-canceled event missed out on, a finalized lineup shows.
Though the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve no longer exists to perform in its hometown, plenty of its flash will be on display at the celebration the night of July 3.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Frances Kness, formerly of that band, is scheduled to perform The Star Spangled Banner, said Allen Tatman, a florist who is helping organize the event.
We hit a home run with that, he said.
Ken McCall, another organizer, said recorded music of the band will accompany a $40,000 fireworks show, which is expected to last about 20 minutes.
The celebration -- the first since the Air Force had to back away from the event because of budget cuts -- could attract 15,000 to 20,000 people to the McConnell-Talbert Stadium. More people traditionally watch from other areas nearby.
The celebration includes a performance by the Southern rock band 38 Special. At least one opening music act, The Georgia Flood, is also scheduled.
Tatman said donations are still being accepted to help launch the 2015 celebration and help Downtown Development Authority projects, but this years show should be ready to go.
Were fully funded, he said.
The event will cost about $112,000, made possible only through strong community support and the first efforts to sell naming rights, Tatman said. The event itself is named after the Jeff Smith Automotive Group, while the fireworks show is named after International City Builders. OrthoGeorgia is helping sponsor the first Rockin into the Night 5K Glo Run, which is also named after a 38 Special song.
The 5K is scheduled to begin one minute after midnight, at the beginning of July 4. The gates for the main show will open at 6 p.m. July 3, with the celebration itself beginning around 8 p.m. and the fireworks around 10 p.m.
Tatman said other major contributors making the event possible include the city of Warner Robins, Robins Federal Credit Union, Flint Energies, Cox Communications and Central Georgia Technical College.
For more information, see the celebrations Facebook page by searching for the Warner Robins Independence Day Concert.
To contact Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.