Year after year the crowds gather to watch the parade, eat at the street fair, listen to music, and celebrate the Fourth of July. This year, Lubbock celebrates America's freedom along with Lubbock's centennial birthday.
Lubbock's 4th on Broadway festival attracts around 100,000 people each year, but it wasn't always like this. The festival started in 1991 when Lubbock wanted to put on a celebration for some very dedicated Americans. "It was in conjunction with the Gulf War Veterans coming home and so David Langston got with Don Caldwell and the put on this first event and it just kind of took off from there," said Tracy Bacon, Broadway Festivals President.
During the early years the evening concert and fireworks were held at the Civic Center, but in 1999 the Broadway Festivals committee decided to move the evening events to Mackenzie Park. "We moved the evening concert down here about eight years ago and ever since then it has taken on a real life of its own. We get about 100,000 people out here and it's amazing when you're standing on the stage and you're looking out and this entire park is just covered with families sitting on blankets and setting up chairs and just having a good time, and that's what's this is all about," said Bacon.
This year, the committee added the centennial street dance on Thursday night to kick off the celebration with a concert by the Maines Brothers Band, who also played at the very first 4th on Broadway celebration. "It just gets bigger and bigger and more impressive as it goes along. Historically it's just something that has really met the needs of the entire community and it gives them a way to celebrate the 4th of July," said Gary Mitchel, Broadway Festivals VP.
The committee said the centennial street dance is something they hope to continue doing every year.
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