All-American sound of Sousa will fill Mercyhurst College campus during celebration of 75th anniversary

It will be a “grand ol’ time” when Mercyhurst College celebrated both the birth of the nation and its own 75th anniversary during the 18th Annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, which will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, on the college’s picturesque campus.

Bring your blanket, your family and your party hat as Mercyhurst kicks off an evening full of entertainment.

The highlight of the evening’s entertainment will be the performance of the John Philip Sousa Band, conducted by Keith Brion of Dallas, Texas. The 43-piece band, dressed in period costumes, will re-create the performance given by Sousa and his band when they visited Erie in 1926, the same year Mercyhurst College opened. The free concert will start at 8 p.m. on the soccer field south of the college ice rink on the back of the Mercyhurst campus.

Before the curtain rises on that one-of-kind musical extravaganza, be sure to get your tickets for the return engagement of Erie’s own illusionist extraordinaire, Bob Borgia Jr. Just back from a three-month engagement on an Alaskan cruise line and his recent guest appearance on the television show, “Pretender,” Borgia is thrilled to be home and offering a new show, “Bob Borgia — The Interactive Experience” in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $3 and available at the MaryD'Angelo Performing Arts Center box office, 824-3000, after Friday, June 29.

And with July’s hot weather, what better place to cool down than in the Mercyhurst Ice Rink, where “Stars and Stripes on Ice” will feature Erie’s own Olympic star, Caryn Kadavy, and along with the young talent of the Skating Club of Erie and the Westminister Skating Club. Shows will be held three times during the evening of the Fourth — at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Ice Rink. Tickets will be $3 at the door or in advance through the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center box office after Friday, June 29.

Last, but certainly not least, will be the biggest Erie fireworks display of the entire year, provided by Zambelli Internationale at 10 p.m. 

In addition, the evening’s activities will be broadcast live by Image Sports on Erie Cablevision Channel 20 and Adelphia Channel 12. Viewers can catch the Borgia illusions, the sweeping beauty of the ice show and the one-of-kind Sousa performance, plus the fireworks. 

Other entertainment will include the Dixie Doodlers, the Good Time Charlies, Patty Sullivan and Wally Weise presenting a Patriotic Concert, the Sunlight Muppets, Stay n’ Play with J & J, Classmates, juggler Geoff Bach, the Lake Erie Ballet and the Lake Erie Fanfare.

In addition, vendors will be on hand to offer refreshments and the Strawberry Shortcake Festival will return this year to the Mercyhurst cafeteria.

Please join Mercyhurst College in wishing the nation a happy birthday and celebrating its own 75th anniversary!

For more information, call Gennifer Tyson at 824-3315.
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