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Celebrating America’s Independence Day; City’s fireworks show promises fun for the entire family

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Roswell native Kristine Mirelle to perform at Cielo Grande for the Fourth of July festivities. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

This year marks Roswell’s 20th annual Roswell Sertoma Club’s Mike Satterfield Fireworks Extravaganza, which is organized by the Roswell Sertoma Club and the city of Roswell.

The free event begins at 6 p.m. at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area, 1600 W. College Blvd., and includes a Kid’s Zone with Jolly Jumps and a trackless train. There also will be food vendors on site.

The 20th anniversary of the fireworks show is a perfect time to visit with friends, family and neighbors. This year, America’s Independence Day starts before the UFO Festival and many tourists will already be in town to celebrate.

How did Roswell choose its name for the fireworks show? Satterfield had been the owner of the Budget Inn and a leader in the Roswell community. He was one of the founding organizers of the Fourth of July fireworks show, then Roswell firefighters were trained to handle the fireworks. Satterfield was a major asset in developing tourism as well.

Satterfield was a great supporter of the UFO Festival and hands-on in helping the organizers. When he suddenly died in 2004 of a heart attack at age 44, many people were in shock.

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The Roswell Sertoma Club has been presenting donations to the Fourth of July fireworks since they revived it in 1997. They decided to donate the money in 2005 in the name of Satterfield, who was a club member. After his death, the organizers decided to name the 2005 fireworks display after him henceforth.

Getting to and from the festival

According to Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the city of Roswell, West College Boulevard adjacent to Cielo Grande Recreation Area will be closed during the fireworks show. To avoid parking complications, people are asked to arrive early. It is also recommended spectators bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on. For safety reasons, people should not bring their own fireworks and should not bring pets.

As motorists leave the area following the fireworks show, they are asked to be aware of and follow the directions of signs and police officers directing traffic as various streets will be closed and detours will be in place to create a traffic flow that will allow people to most efficiently exit the area.

Who is headlining this year?

This year’s music headliners are the Swon Brothers.

The Swon Brothers are looking forward to perform in Roswell at the Fourth of July festivities. They are planning to stay at least a day for the UFO Festival. (Submitted Photo)

The Swon Brothers gained notoriety as finalists on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2013 and released their major-label debut, “The Swon Brothers,” on Oct.14, 2014, putting their stamp on the 11-song collection by co-producing with award-winning producer Mark Bright. The album’s first single “Later On” was the duo’s first top-15 hit.

In 2014, Zach and Colton Swon received a CMA Award nomination for “Vocal Duo of the Year.” They received an ACM Award nomination for “Vocal Duo of the Year” followed by a CMT Music Award nomination for “Duo Video of the Year” in 2015 and also opened for country-music star Brad Paisley on his Country Nation World Tour earlier that year. What followed is a career in the music industry, climbing Billboard’s Top Country Albums Charts and tours with renowned stars such as Carrie Underwood. Honored with the Rising Star Award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and just recently inducted into the Rhythm and Routes Oklahoma Music Trail in July of 2017, the Muskogee, Oklahoma, natives have been charming fans with their incredible sibling harmonies and fun-loving personalities since childhood.

In a phone interview, the Swon Brothers talked about their life and career. “We’ve got brand new music out. We’ve got brand new staging and lights and you are going to see stuff that you’ve never seen from us before. Very high energy, I mean, it’s the Fourth of July. It is going to be a fun, fun show,” Zack Swon said. “Really, it is a show for everybody from 1 year old to 100. We welcome everybody and it’s just going to be a good time.”

The concert songs will depend on the audience. According to Colton Swon, the brothers wait until the last minute to take the songs to the stage, and switch their set sometimes on stage.

“Most of the time we don’t even go by that set list because we look at the crowd and what fancies them that night,” Colton Swon said. “We just feed off the energy of the crowd. If they like rock, we play a little more rock; if they like it more laid back, we play more laid back.”

His brother Zack Swon agrees. “I think it is really important what people are telling you. It’s about the people showing up. It’s not about us in a way.”

Asked if the brothers will have time to stay in town, Zack Swon said, “I do hear you’ve got that alien fest right after us. That sounds amazing. If it is anyway possible to stay, we will stay. At least check out one day of it and be a part of the festivities. That just sounds out of this world.”

“If you are talking about aliens, I am sure my brother will fit right in. He is quite the creature,” Colton quipped.

Roswell’s Kristine Mirelle to open

Opening for the Swon Brothers is Roswell’s own Kristine Mirelle. Originally from Roswell, Mirelle is a multi-talented singer, songwriter and pianist calling California her home. She returns to Roswell at any chance she gets. Mirelle won multiple National Sonata Piano competitions and was inducted into the International Piano Guild at 12 years old. She has toured nationally as a recording artist and volunteers overseas performing for children in developing countries.

In a phone interview, Mirelle talked about returning to Roswell to perform. “I am glad getting back, I haven’t been home in a while,” she said.

“For this show I am going to be performing a lot of English and Spanish songs because in New Mexico those are my roots and my favorite style of music,” Mirelle said. “I am going to do a lot of music I grew up with and styles that are close to our culture and our upbringing, everything from Selena and Santana and my music from ‘Spanglish,’ which is fun, contemporary English music with Latin drums and Latin guitars and Latin piano.”

Asked about “Spanglish,” Mirelle said, “I am working on an entire project that’s in English and Spanish. The album is called ‘Spanglish.’ It is both languages, kind of mixing it. Just as we do, we speak in English and Spanish. There are certain words you can’t speak in Spanish or don’t quite translate the same.”

One of the songs Mirelle will perform is her newest release called, “Hasta El Final.”

Mirelle will stay with her parents for the festivities. “That’s where I stay every time I come home,” she said. “I’ll be hanging out and eating my mom’s cooking. She makes so many good stuff. Her and my grandmother get together and make fresh tortillas. Those are my favorite, just regular flour tortillas and empanadas. My grandmother makes empanadas with pumpkin. She usually brings me a bag of them.”

Mirelle’s caleπndar shows how busy her work keeps her. “I’ve been lucky since I moved to L.A.,” she said. “I get to travel quite a bit. I do a lot of things frequently in Vegas and San Francisco and also at the East Coast. I do a lot of traveling internationally each year as well for different performances. I perform about three times a week. It has been good. It has been like this for quite some time now, picking up more and more amazing gigs and shows and opportunities.”

Mirelle said that she feels wonderful performing on the Fourth of July. “Roswell is where I started everything, so I am really grateful for everybody that has been supportive and continues to be supportive, that comes to shows or reaches out online. They walk along on my journey because it is definitely something that had a lot of ups and downs, but it is wonderful to always come home. Definitely a big shout out to my friends and people who have continued to be supportive, the love over more than a decade really. I am really thankful for everybody,” Mirelle said.

The fireworks display begins at 9:15 p.m. — weather permitting — music will be featured simulcast on 97.1 FM.

For more information, visit seeroswell.com or its event page. To follow the artists, visit kristinemirelle.com and swonbrothers.com.

Veterans barbecue

The Roswell Elks Lodge, 1720 N. Montana Ave., is holding its annual free Veterans Barbecue from 4 to 7 p.m. on the Fourth of July. The Roswell Elks Lodge is a charitable organization helping veterans, as well as children and adults suffering from cerebral palsy. Members volunteer their time and money to put on the annual barbecue honoring local veterans and their families and those who are visiting.

Vision editor Christina Stock can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 309, or vision@rdrnews.com.