It’s billed as America’s biggest birthday party and one that even those not able to attend in person will be able to enjoy on HDTV.
Demand from viewers has led to coverage of this year’s Capitol Fourth celebrations from Washington DC being given extended coverage on the US public broadcast network PBS.
The Independence Day fireworks will be captured live by 18 cameras positioned around the capital as national landmarks such as the US Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials are silhouetted on the skyline.
An estimated 100 million homes in the US own HDTVs – around 41 per cent of TV owners.
Jerry Colbert, executive producer of Capital Concerts, said that if you couldn’t be in Washington, DC for the event, watching it on HDTV would be the next best thing.
“We heard from our viewers that they’d like to see more of the most amazing fireworks display in the nation,” he said.
“We are pleased to respond to our viewers’ requests, not only with extended coverage of this year’s fireworks, but we’ve also added more TV cameras that will capture these dazzling and colourful pyrotechnics in high definition from virtually every panorama.”
The event will be broadcast on PBS Friday, July 4, 2008 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET.
Capping off the show will be a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery.
Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning film, theatre and television actor Jimmy Smits will host the 28th annual broadcast of the concert, featuring musical performances from some of the country’s best known and award-winning artists.
Grammy winners Huey Lewis and the News, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis, Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell, classical superstar Hayley Westenra and soprano Harolyn Blackwell will perform a selection of music with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Erich Kunzel.
Olympic Gold Medal winner Scott Hamilton will lead a tribute to Team USA members competing in Bejing.


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