A Burbank birthday bash for the USA

Thousands of Burbank residents and visitors made their way to the Starlight Bowl to celebrate America’s 235th birthday on the Fourth of July. As has become a city tradition, the Independence Day bash included picnicking in the bowl and throughout the grounds, a flyover, musical performances by Beach Boys tribute band Surfin’ USA and the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra, and a patriotic pyrotechnic grand finale.

By late afternoon, patriotic-clad folk of all ages began filing into the bowl toting picnic baskets and coolers of all colors and sizes. Welcomed by Jeanette Meyer, her son, Nick, and daughter, Tess, notables among the thong included former Burbank Mayor Anja Reinke, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Board Member Barry Gussow, Westminster Presbyterian Church of Burbank pastor, the Rev. Paul Clairville, Pat Smola of the Burbank Temporary Aid Center and Burbank Philharmonic President Lynda Willner, Vice President Judy Daniels and board member Judy Gragg.

Others who spread out their blankets on the grass and settled into their seats and boxes for an evening of fun and fireworks were Dean and Lynn Shelby, Rey, Gema, Trey and Veronica Sanchez, Rick Meyer, Kim Cass, Chris, Suzanne, Maddie and Jack Weerts, Mike Napolitano, Adam, Jamie and Jackson Voorhees, Ryan Johnson, Erin Ventura and Becky, John, Olivia and Evelyn Bresee.

Adorned with sparkling red, white and blue star headbands, Nancy Spencer, Ronna Kasow, Patti Ryan and Maggie Duarte enjoyed the evening’s performance billed as “A July 4th Salute to America.” Under the direction of guest conductor Jack Lantz, who was sitting in for Maestro Steven Kerstein, who will be returning from his sabbatical to wield the baton later this summer, the orchestra filled the bowl with patriotic favorites from American composers and arrangers including John Philip Sousa, Carmen Dragon, Leroy Anderson and Robert Russell Bennett.

Among the supporters and orchestra and board members of the Burbank Phil who made the evening possible were Bethany Pflueger, Cathy Larson, Laura Grote, Jessica Hoffman, Michael Arnold, Patricia Massey, Mary Louise Uys, Lynne Snyder, Melissa Koprowski, David Hill, Rory Mazzela, Michael Benedict, Nancy Newman, Phoebe Ray, Michael and Linda Massoni, Duncan Massey, James Atkinson, James Mattos, Jean Marinelli, Larry Lazar, Grant Hungerford, Catherine Ryan, Larry Lippold, Ray Burkhart, Brad Close, David Ryan, Robert Coomber, Noah Gladstone, Charles Koontz, Mark Artusio, Ellis and Karen Petterson, Aaron Smith, Alan Peck, Marvin Cecchini, Kris Mettala, Mike Deutsch, Kenneth and Bea Wainwright, Lisa Perry, Bob Diller, Nancy Engelken, Tom Lang, Aaron Petersen, Mari Angela Pititto, Jay Rando and Gary Reissman.

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