Community, Springfield

Fireworks, reptiles a hit at Light of Liberty event

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Utility Board (SUB)’s annual Light of Liberty (LOL) event for Fourth of July last week brought community members together to endure the heat while celebrating American independence.

This event is a way for SUB to raise money and awareness for Project SHARE: a program that helps SUB customers with past-due bills. This year, SUB was able to donate $60,000 after LOL. These donations will help at least 300 families pay their heating bills in the Springfield area.

“We come together not only to celebrate and have a good time but to give back,” said Meredith Clark, SUB community relations manager.

There was live music, food vendors, and fun, family-friendly activities scattered throughout Island Park. A major attraction was the 40 linear feet of reptiles provided by Garth Pithan, the Reptile Road Show founder. The Longview, Wash., resident traveled far to join the Springfield community on July 4. 

“I love my country and just coming here to celebrate with all the people that are like-minded on that (is great),” Pithan said. 

He is used to being on the road with his reptiles and performing at various events.

“I couldn’t do karaoke in front of three people, but you get me and my snakes in front of 300 people at an elementary school, and I become king of the jungle.”

Michelle Guzman attended the event last year and came back to celebrate with her 6-year-old daughter Mia. Guzman said they enjoyed the live music last year, but she “can count on the fireworks to pass my traditions to my daughter.”

The event concluded with the highly-anticipated fireworks show that started at 10 p.m.

Amanda Lurey contributed to this report.

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