Refined present: Know-how helps organizers present top-notch fireworks show | Native leisure

SHERIDAN – Local resident Bruce Burns has been helping delight the July 4th crowd for more than three decades. Even now, he’s not ready to reveal his secrets as organizers prepare for the 33rd annual Independence Day fireworks on Sunday evening at the Big Horn Equestrian Center.

The gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and the fireworks are scheduled for 10:00 p.m. at the BHEC on Bird Farm Road. The suggested donation is $ 10 per vehicle.

“It’s an event,” said Sheila Blackburn, BHEC Executive Director.

In addition to the fireworks, Blackburn said the evening will include various vendors, food and even ax throwing, as well as live music from the band Sidetrack. The bar in the BHEC is also open from the age of 21.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she added.

The highlight of the evening is of course the fireworks.

According to Burns, the fireworks are actually four smaller displays choreographed by four different people from across the county, each choosing music that is broadcast simultaneously to the thousands of viewers on 94.9 FM.

The music during the show ranges from The Village People to Beethoven, with a little Tom Sawyer as an encore.

Burns, a member of Pyrotechnics International, said he took part in the local fireworks show for a simple reason. He just likes fireworks.

“And my last name is Burns,” he said jokingly. “This has been my hobby for 35 years. … To be honest, I have a hobby that people like. “

There have been many changes over the years. When he started, Burns said the display was basically setting off the fireworks “out of an oversized sandpit.”

Over the years it has evolved from manually firing the grenades to using an electronic system to today’s digital technology which, once set up, makes it so easy for even the volunteers to watch alongside the display.

“When we start, it’s basically a push of a button,” he said. “The music is transmitted to the vehicles simultaneously. It is such a refined fireworks display as you will find anywhere in the world. “

Aside from the technological changes, Burns doesn’t like to discuss how the display works behind the scenes.

“I’m proud of the show, but I don’t want to give anything away,” he said, adding that he prefers to amuse those present.

And if you enjoy this year’s show, plan on coming back. Burns and Co. are always trying to improve the show.

“Otherwise there is no point doing it,” he said. “We’ll look at that later. Our concern during the show is to make sure that everything is fired and that it went the way we wanted it to. “

While the show is meant to be part of the July 4th celebrations, there are a few rules in place. On the night of the show, the BHEC is not allowed to operate drones and “absolutely no (consumer) fireworks” are allowed on site, added Burns. The reason for the rules is simple: safety.

“You just don’t shoot fireworks in a large crowd,” he said. “You don’t know when something could start or where it could come down.”

Burns has one more tip: get to the BHEC early because the grounds will be crowded with vehicles and spectators.

“Basically, people have about five hours to hang out in the grass,” he said. “They bring their own grills. They bring their own tents. It’s a beautiful day and evening on the grass. After all, they are polo fields. “

The proceeds from the fireworks will go to the Big Horn Lions Club Scholarship Fund.

“It’s our only fundraiser this year,” said Burns, a member of the local Lions club chapter.

He added that dozens of Lions club members volunteered their time over the holiday weekend to set up the show, assist with the performance, and clean up the grounds to make the event possible.

For more information about the July 4th event, call the BHEC at 307-673-0454.

Africana Model’ now on show at Seacoast African American Cultural Middle

The African American cultural center on the coast has planned a colorful season full of thought-provoking programs and two fascinating exhibits, and it starts with a real sucker.

“Fashion Forward: Africana Style: Connection of African fashion through time and place” is published SAACCIt’s season with all wearable things, in picture and artifact.

The exhibition occupies all three floors of the center, with each level highlighting a different theme, said SAACC President Sandi Clark Kaddy. And she adds, it’s unlikely to be what people expect.

“When people look at African fashion, they often think of dashiki, a piece of clothing worn in West Africa that covers the upper half of the body,” she says. “It’s different. And it’s really fabulous.”

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On the ground floor is the centerpiece of the exhibition, “Sapeurs: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo”, with photographs by the award-winning London photographer Tariq Zaidi.

Zaidi’s pictures documented the Sapeurs, a fashion subculture in an impoverished community in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. The sapeurs, also known as members of the Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the society of taste makers and elegant people), are made up of workers who turn into fashion dandies of an earlier age at night.

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After a day at work, these stylists go home, change and then wander through the streets in creative, elegant and often colorful clothes, a mixture of newly purchased, used or self-designed and made from fabric or offshoots.

“‘Sapeurs’ is the jewel of the show,” says Clark Kaddy. “The photography is amazing … the outfits are so creative, just wonderful.”

Clark Kaddy was referred to Zaidi’s work by a board member familiar with his job. She tracked down the artist in a museum where his work was exhibited.

“It worked out just fine,” she says. “It’s just one of those times when you thank God for the internet.”

Zaidi’s oeuvre contains numerous series. But it was his sapeurs who “blew me away,” she says. “I looked at his pictures and said, ‘Oh, we have to tell this story.'”

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The images of the photos go beyond images of fashion costumes. You speak of the earlier French colonialism, an era from which the “elegant people” originated strongly and which it made its own. More importantly, they deal with the humanity of the fashionistas.

“Tariq focuses on issues of inequality, tradition and vulnerable communities around the world,” she says. “(Sapeurs) use fashion to brave their circumstances … If you look at the photos of these brilliant outfits, you can see that the environment is one of poverty.”

“He captures the dignity of these people in his pictures, the strength and soul of the people around them. That is his passion.”

Images from the show arrived electronically and were donated by Green Acre, a Baháʼí school center for learning, Eliot, Maine.

“You have to know the story behind these pictures. These people work like us. They could be cops, housewives, school kids, and they run home and put on their outfits. … They walk the streets like celebrities and they become.” treated like celebrities. “

Favorites from the collection show the child Sapeurs.

“Remember, they use fashion to brave their circumstances,” she says. “So, the ones that really resonate with me are the ones with the kids wearing their outfits; they’re so proud.”

“Contemporary African Fashion” (CAF) is installed on the upper floor. As the title suggests, this is the fashion of the day with some “incredible quilts”.

“Everything here is authentic and actually used,” she says. “Every piece tells a story.”

Some mark cultural traditions, such as funeral attire, says Clark Kaddy.

Ghanaians traditionally print pictures of the deceased on fabric and then make clothes that are worn in honor of loved ones.

“The items are made for the family, a skirt, a top, a shirt, an armband, a handbag, whatever you want,” she says. “The pieces we have are from private collections … and belong to Dzifa Patterson and Akua Zika Daisy Houdegbe, both Seacoast folks.”

“CAF” includes homemade objects and pieces by African designers, including clothing by Monica Ami Gligah from West Africa, residing in the USA, and quilts by Kathleen Otoo from Ghana, also in the USA, made with scraps of fabric.

The Gustin Collection is located in the basement. These items are part of the SAACC collection, brought together by Harold and Mabel Gustin and donated by Andrew Slusarski of Maine.

“It’s vintage African fashion from Liberia with influences from Islam and African American expats,” she says. “There is fashion, jewelry and accessories … purses, alligator skin shoes … fans (and) we were also lucky enough to receive a quilt made of sheep, otter and leopard skin, which we will exhibit.”

SAACC’s second exhibition is “We the People: The Fight for Justice, People of Color in White Suburbs,” curated by Joanne Kelly (from Portsmouth’s Cup of Joe).

Kelly, who organized Portsmouth’s Black Lives Matter Rally, suggested the idea, Clark Kaddy said. “She showed me some amazing photos,” she says. “So I told her to run with it!”

“We the People” presents around 50 pieces, including photos, art and videos, which are exhibited and staged on the three floors.

“There are photos that were taken last year and show the Justice and Unity Movement from across New Hampshire,” says Clark Kaddy. “They are from ordinary people, with some professionals, people who might have been to a rally and took an incredible picture of unity, in the union’s whitest state.”

SAACC also has numerous programs in the works for 2021. Some issues and dates have been confirmed, others are pending.

“It all depends on COVID how open things can be,” says Clark Kaddy. “COVID determines certain data.”

The “Color Filled Conversations” series is returning after starting in 2020.

“Our goal is to do four to six a year,” she said. “They can only be live-streams, although it is possible to make arrangements to host both in-person and live-streamed events. But virtually or physically we will have them.”

One thing is certain: “Black Lady Poetry”, a two-day event with presentation and workshop (May 28 and 31).

Others on the series are: “Black Dancers”; “Mitreden”, a look at the Delany sisters, who lived for over 100 years; “Black Leadership In Higher Education” and two other TBA topics.

It’s been a great year made possible by the work of many, including Vernis Jackson, Kelvin Edwards, the board of directors and volunteers, “and all the newbies,” says Clark Kaddy. “It takes a village.”

“I feel great this year. I feel inspired by the things we plan, the things we do, the message we send,” says Clark Kaddy. “I am very positive about the direction we are going and I am proud of the organization. I am very proud to be involved.”

Go & Do

What: “Fashion Forward: Africana Style: Connection of African fashion through time and place”

When: Until September 1st

Where: Seacoast African American Cultural Center, at the Discovery Center, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth

What’s next: “We the People” exhibition from September 1st to December 23rd

More information: Visit the center’s Facebook page and visit its website or call (603) 430-6027