Star Spangled Springfield returns after COVID hiatus

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Sunday night’s Star Spangled Springfield Fourth of July celebration is an event that took a lot of planning, two years in fact.

Last year, was the first year the Spirit of Springfield had to cancel the event due to risks then of COVID-19. Since 2019, a lot of planning went into the works, as to how to bring the event back, and do it better than ever.

Judy Matt, President of Spirit of Springfield, told 22News about what it takes to hold the large community event and where the funding comes from.

“MassMutual turned our request around in like 48 hours for the money to do the fireworks. It’s a huge undertaking,” said Judy. “We supply the fireworks and all of the activities that go down at Riverfront Park, so it’s a real community effort.”

Judy also told 22News that West Springfield and Springfield combine to pay for the costs of police and DPW working on the event. They also brought back their fireworks expert of choice, Grucci, to set off the fireworks at the Memorial Bridge.

Onlookers came by the hundreds Sunday evening, thrilled to be back celebrating this tradition for the city. For many, the event was the first big in-person, holiday celebration and it showed, with lots of smiling faces, and not just people from Springfield, but all over western Massachusetts.

The Memorial Bridge closed for the day Sunday for the fireworks, which was the highlight of the night for so many.

22News spoke with one Springfield resident, who said he really missed the event last year.

“This is our first representation of going outside and enjoying it and stuff like that,” said Natan’el Alers. “Basically this whole event is representing of what America is, it’s definitely a heart warming event.”

Springfield Police and EMT’s were on site for the event, in case of an emergency. Amtrak Police were also patrolling near the train, a K-9 unit and the Arson & Bomb Squad as well.

The 104th Fighter Wing also flew over the park, bringing attention to why we celebrate the Fourth of July.

Mass Appeals Alanna Flood emceed the pre-fireworks program, where Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also addressed the crowd.

22News is your sponsor of Star Spangled Springfield.

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