Fireworks set for June 28 at Knox

JOHNSTOWN – A free Star-Spangled Fireworks Celebration for the community will take place June 28 at Knox Junior High School.

This will be the event’s second year. Last year’s event at Knox Field drew thousands of people, and organizer Tom Cristiano of Clifton Park said he is hoping for another great show.

“Come early and grab your seat,” he said. “We definitely are going to have a larger fireworks show.”

There is no charge for the festivities, which are being presented by Cristiano and mainly sponsored by the Johnstown Area Community Center with the permission of the Greater Johnstown School District.

The public can enter the event starting at 5:30 p.m.

Cristiano is a technician for Alonzo Fireworks in Mechanicville. He said his sister, Lisa Brown of Johnstown, who does fundraising for the JACC, has organized the event the last two years.

This year’s fireworks show, which Cristiano is calling a Star-Spangled Fireworks Celebration, will have a June 29 rain date.

He said the program will begin with Lexington Center’s music group Flame performing at 5:30 p.m. A Life Net medical helicopter will fly in about 6:30 p.m.

Cristiano said about 3,500 to 4,000 spectators watched last summer’s fireworks show. A bigger crowd is anticipated this year.

Cristiano said when he and Brown first had the idea of the summertime fireworks show in Johnstown, they decided to work closely with the JACC.

“We needed to go through an organization, and they were willing to work with us,” he said.

Now, he said, the show is paid for through corporate and individual donations, funneled through the JACC.

“They needed someone to help,” said Matt Therien, who manages the JACC.

Cristiano said the roughly 17-minute fireworks show will be choreographed to current radio hits and patriotic tunes.

“The finale will be significantly bigger this year, with a few extra surprises,” Cristiano said.

Others who Cristiano said plan on being at the event include the Johnstown High School Purple and Gold Club, Johnstown Post-Prom Committee, an ice cream truck and an Albany-area food vendor offering steak sandwiches and fries.

Eighth-grade student Emily Barker will sing the national anthem.

“We had a great turnout last year, despite the questionable weather,” Cristiano said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.