PAWTUCKET — If there was ever a night to celebrate the hometown spirit, it’s tonight at McCoy Stadium. City officials, local business leaders and volunteers have pulled out all of the stops to mark the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of Pawtucket as a city.
The celebration is centered around a match-up between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Syracuse Chiefs that begins at 7:05 p.m. However, both before and after the game, McCoy Stadium will be home to festivities designed to honor the rich history of Pawtucket and to showcase its bright future. What’s even better — all of the special events are included for the regular price of a PawSox game ticket.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. with the pre-game festivities starting at 6:15 p.m. Among the entertainment line-up are performers from the Theresa Landry Dance Studio. Theresa Landry, a Pawtucket Hall of Fame member, has been teaching all styles of dance to youngsters in Pawtucket for over 50 years.
Next up will be students from the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The JMW arts high school, a public high school dedicated to students who want to focus on the visual arts, dance, music, or theater, has earned respect in the educational arena both locally and statewide.
Also taking the field will be entertainers from Dancin’ Spirit Performing Arts, an innovative dance studio also based in Pawtucket.
Numerous community and civic organizations will be recognized, including the newly established Pawtucket-Central Falls After-School Coalition. The coalition was created as a resource for local youngsters to connect with the more than 30 after-school programs that are currently available in both communities.
Also being honored are representatives and volunteers from the many local festivals and community events that take place throughout the year, including Winter Wonderland, Gatchell Post #306 Ladies Auxiliary, the Pawtucket Dog Park, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.
Marching on to the field as well will be numerous individuals who have been inducted into the Pawtucket Hall of Fame for their contributions to the city. Included among those being recognized are former mayor Bob Metivier, Joe Sadlier, Janet Stone, Cheryl Babiec, Morris Nathanson, John McBurney, William Nesbit, Michael Pappas, Theresa Landry, Ann Hogan, Chuck Sczuroski, Bob Billington, Bill Catelli, Armand Lamontagne, Charles Dolan, Michael Cassidy, Michael Corrente, Ray Dalton and Thomas Duffy.
Participants will also be treated to a video presentation that looks back on Pawtucket’s rich history over the past 125 years. The video was created and produced by Aaron Hertzberg from The Pawtucket Foundation.
Prior to the start of the game, Mayor Donald Grebien will throw out the ceremonial first ball, along with Jim Brett, president and CEO of the New England Council.
Among other state and local dignitaries expected to be in attendance are Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and several members of the Rhode Island General Assembly including Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, Rep. Mary Duffy Messier and Rep. Ray Johnston.
Additionally, several mayors from surrounding communities, including North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, and the members of the Pawtucket City Council, will be among those joining in the special event.
Following the Pawtucket Red Sox game, there will be a state-of-the-art laser light show that is guaranteed to “wow” those in attendance. Colorful lasers and ground-level fireworks will be choreographed to futuristic music for a dazzling conclusion to the Pawtucket 125th celebration.
For tickets, contact the Pawtucket Red Sox at 401-724-7300 or on-line at www.pawsox.com .