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Released June 20, 2003

FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION SET FOR LAKE SEHOY

HATTIESBURG -- The 2003 Mississippi Holiday Spectacular, set for July 3, marks the fourth year the City of Hattiesburg and The University of Southern Mississippi have joined together to present a Fourth of July celebration event in the Hattiesburg area.

Jay Dean, event organizer and musical director for the university's Symphony Orchestra, said this year's collaboration is going to be "a guaranteed crowd pleaser."

The Spectacular will pull together all the key ingredients for a traditional Fourth of July celebration--fun, food and fireworks, and traditional American patriotic music. The university's Lake Sehoy, located at the corner of Classic Drive and Golf Course Road in Hattiesburg, will serve as the event's new home, thanks to the newest team member in the holiday event collaboration, the Southern Miss Department of Recreational Sports.

"Our country has never been more aware of our freedoms than now-the eyes of the world are focused on us as a nation of great pride," Dean said. "We strongly believe in this effort and would like for this to be an annual event. With the community's support, south Mississippi could conceivably have the best Fourth of July celebration in the region."

The gates will open at 3 p.m., and the music begins at 7 p.m. with the orchestra taking the stage at 8 p.m. in a pops-style concert, under the direction of Dean and guest conductor Greg Fuller.

Special guest performers featured with the orchestra will include the Mississippi "Gear-Up" Middle School Orchestra, percussionist John Wooton and vocalist Rachel Taylor.

The Spectacular's traditional musical conclusion will be a performance of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" by the orchestra, complete with blasting cannons, courtesy of the Camp Shelby Cannon Unit, and a professional fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.

Sponsors for this year's event include BancorpSouth, the Hattiesburg American, Rock 104, B-95, Comcast Cable, Hattiesburg Clinic and Turtle Creek Mall.

Admission is free. For more information, call the Southern Miss Symphony office at (601) 266-4001 or Recreational Sports at Southern Miss at (601) 266-5405.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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