The Verdugo Hills were alive with the sound of music, family fun and the colors and blasts of pyrotechnics as Burbankers gathered at the Starlight Bowl on Sunday evening for the annual Fourth of July celebration.
Along with celebrating the 234th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence that set America on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation, this annual event also served as the kick-off to the Starlight Bowl's 2010 Summer Concert Season. Since its reopening in 1992, the hillside amphitheatre has provided residents from Burbank and the surrounding region with Sunday evening concerts that run from the Fourth of July till the end of August.
Billed as a "Salute to the Soul of America," Sunday's patriotically clad crowd of 5,000 partook of dinners that ranged from typical picnic fare to elaborate gourmet spreads as they enjoyed a flyover by a Boeing C-17 Globemaster military transport jet, the Motown sounds of Stone Soul, the evening's featured performance by the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Steven Kerstein, and the grand finale fireworks display.
Among those who joined the sell-out-crowd for the patriotic celebration were Burbank Mayor AnjaReinke, who joined the Burbank Phil on stage to conduct their performance of "The Stars and Stripes Forever," Burbank City Treasurer Donna Anderson, and city department heads including SharonCohen and Jennifer Wyatt. Others who enjoyed the evening included Mary Alvord, Eric Hansen, Jim and Jane Casey; Brady, Jenny, Lauren and Colin Griffin; Charlie Reinke, Alicia Less, Ann Licater; Rey, Gema, Trey and Veronica Sanchez; Pete, Cheri and Lauren Jones; Rick, Jeanette, Tess and Nick Meyer; Barry Gussow and Karen Volpei, Mary Christensen, Lynda Willner, Pat Smola, Dean and Lynn Shelby, Chris, Suzanne, Maddie and Jack Weerts; and Mona Moore.
Nestled into the canyon just east of the Starlight Bowl, another Burbank tradition was also under way as former-Mayor Mary Lou Howard welcomed the city's movers and shakers to her annual Fourth of July party. Howard, a two-term mayor who served on the Burbank City Council from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, serves as a member of the city's Civil Service Board.
Always well attended by past and current elected and appointed officials, Howard's soiree saw Burbank Airport Commissioner Don Brown serve as the chef-in-chief for a barbecue enjoyed by Councilmen Gary Bric and David Gordon, former Mayor Stacey Murphy, City Clerk MargaritaCampos, City Manager Mike Flad, Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis, and former Councilman Tim Murphy.
Others who enjoyed Howard's festive gathering included Jon and Brett Howard, Bruce Redmann,Bryon, Kathleen and Patrick Hillesland; Shelly Bric, Vince Campos, Cheryl Davis, Jack O'Neill, Bob and Lee Paysinger, Dick and Josephine Kowatch, Bella Flad, Max Andrews, Richard and Rilla Raad, Ernie and Angie Burger and Marcia Baroda.