Crews are preparing for fireworks to light up the harbor as part of Portland’s annual Fourth of July celebration.

“We have 50-60,000 people come out to the eastern prom. It’s by far the largest event in Maine,” said Jon Jennings, founder of July 4th Portland.

Jennings helped to keep the “Stars and Stripes Spectacular” running after the city ran out of money to run the festivities. It is now in its sixth year and has become a summertime tradition.

“We just didn’t feel right that a whole generation of kids in Portland wouldn’t have an annual Fourth of July celebration. We’re very proud to have done that, this has been a labor of love,” Jennings said.

“It’s been a tradition to go and watch them,” said Kayleen Desouza of Portland.

The Desouza family has gone to the spectacular for years to hear the Portland Symphony Orchestra and watch the fireworks. They have already picked out a sport on the Eastern Promenade, close to the water, overlooking Casco Bay.

“There’s no bad spot, but going early is key,” she said.

For others, it’s about having friends in high places.

“I’m lucky enough to be with a friend, we’re going to sit on the rooftop and avoid all the crowds down below, so we’re going to have the perfect viewing opportunity,” said Amy Fecteau of Portland.

This year, WMTW News 8 meteorologist Mallory Brooke will host the free event on Saturday. It starts at 7 p.m.

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