Tens of Thousands Thrill to AmericaFest Fireworks Show at Rose Bowl

Event was reportedly largest fireworks show ever in Southern California

Published : Thursday, July 5, 2018 | 4:17 AM

More than 30,000 people poured into Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium Wednesday for the 92nd annual AmericaFest Fourth of July event and fireworks show, reportedly the largest such fireworks display ever held in Southern California.

Excited fans queued up patiently outside the stadium for the gates to open at 5:30 p.m. while hundreds of others perused the food booths and interactive exhibits in nearby Brookside Park.

The event was the only authorized fireworks display in the city this year.

“This was awesome, such a fun day! “ said Baltimore native Diane Mountain, visiting Pasadena on vacation. “Those were incredible fireworks.”

Before the 9 p.m. fireworks extravaganza, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek welcomed the stadium crowd on video from Normandy, France, where he was traveling Wednesday as part of a Sister Cities tour.

Motorcycle daredevils also thrilled early-arriving fans, speeding up ramps along the east sideline of the stadium, and launching themselves more than 35 feet into the air across a 75-foot gap between ramps, with a mid-air twist or two thrown in, for good measure.

Charming “American Idol” winner Maddie Poppe also performed for the first time since her big win in May, with runner-up and beau Caleb Lee Hutchinson accompanying her on guitar.

Michael Knight’s tribute to Michael Jackson — though apparently interrupted at one point by an unknown fan who grabbed a mic to “tell a joke” before being rushed off stage — was otherwise a big hit with the audience, who danced and sang along with a host of Jackson’s solo and Jackson 5 hits. Knight’s set was cut short by time, but he was a big hit with the Rose Bowl audience.

The Pyrotechnics by Souza performance featured over a ton of fireworks and filled the skies over the Rose Bowl with dazzling lights and booming explosions likely heard by any passing planes in the vicinity.

The 35-minute fireworks show featured tributes to the military, as well as a tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Following the dazzling fireworks show, fans drove home under skies filled with smoke from illegal fireworks displays practically from one end of the 210 freeway to the next, and every neighborhood in between.

Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman reported there were no arrests at the Rose Bowl during AmericaFest.

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