Bisons kick off Independence Day celebrations

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bisons helped get Fourth of July celebrations started a night early, with baseball, music from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and fireworks.

It’s a tradition the team has carried on for 20 years: an Independence Eve ball game and concert at Coca-Cola Field.

Bisons Director of Public Relations Brad Bisbing said, “A celebration of everything that’s great about America. You’ve got our nation’s pastime being played out, all the great patriotic tributes and songs from Paul Ferington and the BPO, and we’re going to cap it off with a great fireworks show.”

The BPO and Chorus set the scene, playing an all-American tribute.

Viola player Janz Castelo said, “We love this concert; it is our biggest audience of the summer. It’s great to play for a stadium; we don’t get to do that every day. And for music, I love all the patriotic songs. Especially the Armed Forces Salute, it’s one of my favorites.”

Players donned special “Stars and Stripes” caps from New Era. Fans who purchase these are helping support the group “Welcome Back Veterans,” which serves returning members of the U.S. military.

At Canalside, the party celebrating America’s birthday will continue all weekend long, getting started Thursday with a free concert from three bands.

Drew Alaimo said, “It’s just beautiful being down here. I mean, the fact that it’s free, there’s food, it’s a good time to hang out with friends. I love being down here.”

Rebecca Vogt added, “Just the atmosphere. Just something to do on a weeknight. It’s cool to come down. You can come down early and get the food trucks. It’s affordable. And it’s just a good atmosphere.”

Throughout downtown Buffalo, an atmosphere of fun and patriotic pride.

“They’re doing fireworks tonight, too, from what I hear, over at the Bisons stadium. It’s really cool. All the growth that they have going on down here, it’s so cool,” Alaimo said.

If you’re looking for something to do on Friday with your family, Canalside will have activities for kids and music all day. Lance Diamond will take the waterfront stage at 7 p.m. and of course there will be fireworks.

You can find a complete list of Independence Day events right here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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