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‘Celebrate America’ July 4th Concert, Fireworks Set for Heritage Port in Wheeling

Photo by Scott McCloskey Making plans for the upcoming Celebrate America July 4 concert and fireworks celebration at Wheeling’s Heritage Port, are from left: WVU Medicine Reynolds Hospital Chief Operating Hospital Tony Martinelli, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital CEO Doug Harrison, Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, Wheeling Symphony Executive Director Bryan Braunlich, and Wheeling Symphony Music Director John Devlin.

WHEELING — The fireworks, fanfare and fun will return to Wheeling’s Heritage Port this Independence Day.

Following a year away due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wheeling Symphony, City of Wheeling and WVU Medicine will present the Celebrate America July 4th Concert at Heritage Port.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., with the fireworks following at dusk.

Local officials who gathered at Heritage Port on Thursday afternoon for the official announcement said they are extremely excited for the event to return to the waterfront.

They’re also pumped to see the start of a return to normalcy locally.

John Devlin, music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, said he can’t wait to see the crowds return for the celebration.

“We’re so incredibly excited,” Devlin said. “It’s the first time our full orchestra will be back with a live audience. I think it’s going to be a great thing for all of downtown to be able to come and revitalize this waterfront property here and celebrate the city of Wheeling and July 4th.

“I think there are all of these little signs that we are going back to normalcy,” he added, “and this is certainly one of them.”

Devlin said the Wheeling Symphony plans to perform “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 from the stage. In addition, the fireworks celebration will join in with the orchestra’s final two patriotic selections of the evening — Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Wheeling Mayor Glen Elliott said he is truly looking forward to the Independence Day celebration.

“It’s just one more step toward our return to normalcy that we’ve really been kind of embracing this year,” he said. “Last year was tough on everybody, a lot of businesses, a lot of residents really suffered, and with the economy kind of kicking back up with the virus in remission and here locally with vaccinations up, it’s exciting to see things back in action. I couldn’t be more excited to hear some great music down here at Heritage Port on the Fourth of July.”

WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital CEO, Doug Harrison said this is the hospital’s second year to sponsor the event.

“This is 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 this just fits right into that mission.

“We’re very fortunate to have a symphony in a city this size,” he added, “and I hope people realize how fortunate we are to have something like this in our backyard, so having this event and being a sponsor is very important for us.

WVU Medicine Reynolds Hospital Chief Operating Hospital Tony Martinelli joined in the joy that all the organizers feel about the event’s return.

“With the two hospitals coming together it gives us a little bit more ability to sponsor events like this in cooperation,” he said. “We’re so thrilled to have people to be able to get together again.”

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