SANFORD — Fire in the sky climaxes Central Carolina Community College’s kickoff of its 50th Anniversary celebration as almost 400 fireworks soar skyward and explode spectacularly.
The show starts at 9 p.m., near the close of the July 23 kickoff celebration at the college’s Emergency Services Training Center. From the opening barrage to the grand finale, the approximately 15-minute fireworks show will entertain and thrill all in attendance.
“We’ll create a performance that will light up your sky!” said Jeff Hale, president and owner of Hale Artificier Fireworks & Pyrotechnics, of Lexington, N.C.
The company, founded by Hale more than 20 years ago, is the largest fireworks display company in the state and puts on shows in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The many hundreds of displays it has put on over the years include shows for the Carolina Panthers Fan Appreciation Day, North Carolina Seafood Festival, Fayetteville’s Dickens Christmas, and Davidson College’s Chinese New Year celebration.
Hale also teaches state-certified classes for fire marshals, training them in fireworks safety procedures. He has done several at the ESTC.
“He really knows his stuff,” said Joey Shue, the college’s fire and rescue coordinator at the ESTC.
Central Carolina Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary from July 2011 through June 2012. In the 50 years since it held its first class in Lee County, the college has grown deep roots not only in Lee, but also in Chatham and Harnett counties. It now serves residents of the counties and others with three campuses and multiple centers. The college is recognized for the quality education it offers, curriculum innovation, cutting edge workforce training, and the ongoing preparation of students for continued educational success.
The 50th anniversary celebration kickoff runs from 3 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the ESTC, 3000 Airport Road, Sanford. Admission and entertainment are free; vendors will offer a variety of foods for sale.
In addition to the fireworks show, the entertainment includes performances by The FOG Blues and The Souls bands and a jump by the 82nd Airborne All American Freefall Team. A full schedule of fun family activities, including a cornhole tournament, children’s arts and crafts, antique vehicle display, martial arts, clowns, music, and much more, is on the schedule.