Crowds along the waterfront on South Main Street in Brewer enjoy a view of the Fourth of July fireworks in Bangor. Credit: Michael C. York / BDN

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra will join the slate of programming for Bangor’s first full Fourth of July celebration since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BSO will perform a free Fourth of July pops concert starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Maine Savings Amphitheater on the Bangor waterfront, capping off a day that will feature the traditional pancake breakfast, Brewer-Bangor road race and parade, organized by Bangor Kiwanis.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time. We actually were planning to do it in 2020, but of course, COVID got in the way that year and in 2021,” BSO executive director Brian Hinrichs said.

“Now, we’re finally able to do it, and in the Maine Savings Amphitheater, which is going to be a great experience both for our musicians and for the community.”

There’s a long tradition of pops concerts by orchestras on the Fourth of July, though the most iconic is undoubtedly the Boston Pops Fourth of July Spectacular, held every year on the banks of the Charles River and televised nationwide.

Festivities begin at 5 p.m., with performances by local classic rock cover bands Dakota and the Stone Doctors. At 8:30 p.m. the BSO will take the stage, performing a program of patriotic favorites, pop songs and film score classics conducted by Maestro Lucas Richman, leading directly into the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

The concert is free of charge thanks to a donation by sponsor Bangor Savings Bank, and concert-goers don’t need tickets and can choose any seat they want within the newly renovated Maine Savings Amphitheater, for a comfortable view of the show and of the fireworks. Bathrooms and full concessions will be available during the performance. Donations will be accepted to benefit Chords for the Cure, a local charity benefiting Maine children fighting cancer.

This year’s July 4th festivities in Bangor will be the first full schedule since before the pandemic. Events were canceled in 2020 and were significantly cut back in 2021, though largely due to rain.

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.