PHOTOS: The Singing Flag Fireworks at Dave Brubeck Park in Concord

July 5, 2012 8:33 am · 46 comments

Thanks to GoGo Gomez with GoGo Gomez Photography (click HERE for his website), and also thanks to “Killjoy” for these great pictures from the Singing Flag fireworks in Concord.

Each and every year, for the past 24-years, Calvary Temple Church in Concord has done a wonderful job with the free pre-fireworks show and fireworks, so I thought I’d give them a little shout-out, too.

Good job, Calvary Temple. Please click HERE to visit their website.

Vindex July 5, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Great job Calvary Temple Church

Tim July 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Thank you for the mention, Mr. Mayor. Calvary Temple works very hard on this show every year and your support is appreciated.

2c4me July 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Great fireworks Calvary Temple! Got a good view from my driveway.
If you don’t put blankets down by 8am to save your spot, you can forget about sitting close. The parking has gotten terrible all over the neighborhood. Time for using a bigger event spot with parking.
How about the Pavilion???

Thomas July 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

While I think Calvary does an AMAZING job with this event every year, it has clearly outgrown the current location at the park…. there are far too many people and cars, and it is chaotic for the people who live near the park. It is time to move this to a larger location – Cowell Park or the Pavilion perhaps but Dave Brubeck park is not working any longer.

Skyscraper July 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Thank you Calvary Temple for the greatest show on earth, year after year. This year was the 14th year I have attended the show and I attend all three nights.

Contrary to the naysayers, I think Dave Brubeck Park is the perfect venue for this event and encourage the continued use of this venue, for selfish reasons. I live only 200 steps away from the park. I enjoy not having to park somewhere and the short walk it takes to see this show. Cars park in front of my house each morning before 6:00 AM for the “land grab” and each night for the event. People file past my house in crowds both before and after each show. But I welcome this every year and embrace this event with open arms.

It seems to me that the naysayers who complain about this location are just a bunch of “NIMBY” neighbors with nothing better to do than complain and can’t stand seeing other people have fun and showing patriotic spirit. I feel sooooo sorry for these unhappy people and will pray for them.

@skyscrapper July 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Can we move it your neighborhood next year?

Kathy July 5, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I too agree the Singing Flag is a wonderful Family Show and very well organized, but it is far too big to be held at a local neighborhood park. It really needs to move to the Concord Pavilion. As a neighbor with pets, our animals are frightened with the large number of people walking by our home and the fireworks sounding like a war zone.

Clayton-ite July 5, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Anon 11:51, I guess you didn’t notice that skyscraper says he/she lives 200 steps away from the park. So they’re good with the disruption.

Skyscraper July 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM

@6 – I guess you don’t read and understand the written word all that well (Thank you MDUSD). It IS in MY NEIGHBORHOOD, [insert derogatory expletive of choice here]!

Steven July 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I grew up in the neighborhood right next to this park, and as nice as it was to watch fireworks from my backyard, it was chaos for a few days prior and especially the day of this event. It caused major stress for my dogs, and sadly one of them actually broke through a window during the fireworks show and was struck and killed by a car on Concord Blvd. This is a RESIDENTIAL area, not appropriate for such a large event (do you see them holding concerts there with this many people? No – they are held at the pavilion!).

We love this event and hope they keep doing it for years to come but it is clearly TIME TO MOVE THIS EVENT!

Antler July 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM

#6 ~ ~ ~ At #5, Skyscraper’s main argument seems to be that she only has to walk 200 steps to go see the performance. She likes it, so everyone else within a third-of-a-mile radius has to like it, too.

Clayton-ite July 5, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Frankly, and I don’t live in the neighborhood but I just tried to get close enough last night to see the fireworks from a side street. The streets were FULL all the way up to Safeway on Denkinger. It is dangerous w/ so many cars trying to find parking in the dark, the kids and parents darting into the street, I’m surprised there are no injuries, people hit by cars or break in/vandal problems with cars all over that area. It is but once a year, but we finally gave up and went home, for unless you get your blanket down bright and early (and look like a moron having your husband wait in the car ON concord blvd while you place it), and get there HOURS early for parking it is just not a show everyone can enjoy. Pavilion used to have fireworks I believe.. and I agree that would be a better venue – they have parking at least!

Z's Mom July 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

We love the fireworks display put on by Calvary Temple every year, they do such a good job. Better yet, we sit in our backyard and watch all three nights of the show. We also donate to their cause :~)

Tie Rod July 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

“She likes it, so everyone else within a third-of-a-mile radius has to like it, too”

Or, conversely Antler, you hate it so all of Claycord must hate it as well.

Even amongst those of us who live closer than you and feel that this annual monument to patriotism and neighborliness is worth the small inconvenience.

Dem Babies July 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

We live within walking distance and like it. Honstly, it is becoming the high-point of homeownership in the area…we look forward to it. My dogs are scared of fireworks regardless. Honestly, there was more noise in the hours after this year.
If you can’t find room @ the park, there is also the field/grass across from CHS. Plenty of room and you get a great view of the fireworks, without the obstruction of the trees @ Dave Brubeck park.
BTW, who was the effing rocket scientist who forgot to turn off the sprinklers @ said location this year? Idiot!

Radar July 5, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Ive covered the Singing Flag many times over the years and have been very impressed with the production quality and the fireworks put on by the Calvary Temple. They work very hard to produce a clean, wholesome event. Keep up the good work!

WakeUp July 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

The glorification of our military in this event did not accurately display the current reality of our armed forces. More soldiers are committing suicide than who are dying in combat, we have deployed over 250,000 worldwide (not including private security personnel) and our foreign policy dictates that these numbers will only grow.

Education and other social programs, including veteran’s benefits, are being slashed with the justification of “keeping America safe.” How much more money do we need to spend on sending American people to their grave or over seas to kill more civilians than so called “enemies.”?

What are we fighting for? Freedom? Well what about the Patriot Act which allows anyone to be spied on at anytime with no warrant? Lest we forget about the N.D.A.A. of 2012 which allows indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. What happened to the right to a quick and speedy trial? The whole habeas corpus thing….the Constitution of the United States of America??

On independence day, why celebrate with this dog and pony show when the condition and future of independence and freedom in this country are at the greatest risk than any other time of our life?

Wake up.

Sparkerdooo July 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I live a block away from Dana Plaza and have welcomed the traffic, people, dogs barking, car alarms going off, and the noise for the last 24 years…. And you know why? Because it is only for 3 days! Three days people…..
I LOVE seeing the city of Concord getting together for these three nights each and every year! It’s the biggest event I know of in Concord, and to see people in a good mood watching a show with good morals, is as close to ‘small town living’ as I will ever get!
I am sure you complainers are the ones who call the cops on the ‘Ice Cream Truck” because it blocks traffic, along with stepping on the crickets because they make too much noise each summer!
Keep the singing flag just where it is,

Atticus Thraxx July 5, 2012 at 4:32 PM

It’s a nice thing the Temple does and it’s cool the city supports it.Trust me I hate loud sudden noise as much as anyone. And it bugs me all the wild and domestic animals who were no doubt terrified. But damn, I’d rather have it, than not.

anon July 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM

This has been such a success for 3 days in Concord. I love watching the families walk to the grassy area at Dana Plaza as a family. It has not outgrown the area. Can you imagine going to the Pavilion, paying for parking, lugging all your blankets, food, drinks etc. Oh wait a minute, I don’t think you can bring food and drinks into the pavilion. Leave it at the so that the families can enjoy it. And by the way, since the church does this with no help from the City (as far as I know), why not send them check to help cover the costs. This would be great.

anonymous July 5, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I have a love – hate relationship with the Singing Flag. I live 2 blocks away from the park. I love seeing the families walk to the park together and gather in a large crowd to celebrate the 4th. Reminds me of “the good old days”. On the other hand, 3 straight nights of fireworks drive me and my animals crazy. Many of us have to pay for tranquilizers from the Vet for our pets.

As much as I love the event, I hope it moves to a larger location soon… very soon. This year is especially bad for the neighborhood – we have road construction for two full months on Concord Blvd. This is the time that we breath a sigh of relief becuase commute traffic to the 4 schools in the area is down. No summer break for us this year with the road construction. Then we have the fire dept. and ambulance going to Stonebrook several times per day. We had to laugh when we could hear The Singing Flag singing “Old MacDonald had a farm”. As a fire truck came down Denkinger at the same time, we sang “with a siren here, a siren there, here a siren, there a siren, everywhere a siren”!

Calvary, if you really can’t move, how about compromising and cutting the fireworks down to 2 nights? Most of us support you, but some of us do need a break.

anon July 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Dear Calvary Temple,

I went to the production on Tuesday night. I thank all the staff who invested so much of their time and energy to host the show. I really appreciate the tribute to tradition and historical songs. Please do not pay attention to the whiners. If the Singing Flag moves to the Pavilion, it will change the dynamic.

People, I think you are just bored and in need of complaining…The glass doesn’t have to be half empty

bisquick July 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

@17 WakeUp … you are correct in the basic thrust of your argument. The irony of cheerfully praising all things America while our military and nation are on the ropes and the Constitution is slowly shredded is not lost on me.

However, as a non-veteran American, I feel a sense of duty to go to these dog and pony shows and publicly display my extreme gratitude to those that have served in the American military, regardless of my opinions about the particular war or operation they were involved in. I think it is important to maintain a solidarity between the soldiers and the citizens. And yes I believe in taxing ourselves so that the federal government can provide the assistance – medical, monetary, and social – that veterans need to get on with their lives. That’s right, big, fat, federal programs to support veterans. I guess “support the troops” is a lefty liberal idea. Who knew?

Sorry to get political, but let us not forget that Independence Day is celebrating perhaps one the most intensely political events of our age.

@Antler July 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

they just don’t get it….it is NOT just three days…it is a MONTH of the same music at high volume. We luv the fireworks.

It will never move, city Council are supported by these people.

anonymous July 5, 2012 at 10:58 PM

@anon #22,

We’re not whiners, nor are we bored and in need of complaining. #24 made a good point – practice for the Singing Flag starts 2-3 weeks before the 3 day event. Speakers are blaring in the neighborhood. Try living it – not just visiting the park the night of the event.

The pavilion was built because the jazz festival outgrew the park. The Singing Flag causes much more noise and traffic than the Jazz Festival did. What gives city of Concord?

Start the campaign drive July 6, 2012 at 1:10 AM

So someone insinuates that the folks at Calvary Temple church own or control the city council? Couldn’t be that the even that started 24 years ago, grew exponentially and continues to be extremely well-attended and well-liked for a reason?

I fail to see anyone who has yet so far complained (as you have the last two years in a row, at least) start the fundraiser to support the move to the Pavilion. Use of the park is relatively low-cost. All required costs are paid by the church (security, police OT and fire OT). Renting the Pavilion is not a low cost option. It isn’t needed for one day, nor two, nor even three- as practice and rehearsal, etc. etc. demand much more time.

The goal for those who wish it moved: raise $100,000. Remember, right now free parking and free admission. Oh, and this will need to be your new full-time fundraising commitment, because it is an annual amount to raise.

Before you start, perhaps you should call and inquire with the Pavilion if they are so interested in giving up 10 full days of their schedule for this event. While you are doing that, you should point out that this should be an ongoing event that the Pavilion should get behind and promise to allow for the same dates each year. I certainly haven’t done that, so I couldn’t presume that the this is an option that could even happen, or that the church could even afford it, or that the community would support paying for it if they couldn’t.

If however, all you intent to do is complain on the community blog, then perhaps you should be happy that our city is so fortunate that even though our city has NO funds to put on a 4th of July parade or celebration or fireworks show, there is a group of folks who live in the Claycord area (the church has been in the city of Concord for decades but of course folks attend from all over, not just Concord) and attend a local church, who band together; and who have made a commitment to the community for 24 years to give back to the community, to honor the good things of this country, our veteran’s, and have fully funded at the expense of no tax dollars. We get three nights of fireworks while many neighboring cities get none. In fact, instead of not paying for fireworks, I think the city makes a little bit of money (certainly not much) via fees.

This is the city made infamous for our official Charlie Brown Christmas tree. We don’t have the budget for a tree anymore, or fireworks. And this is free to the taxpayers.

Damien R. July 6, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Two words:


Steven July 6, 2012 at 7:28 AM

As I mentioned in my original post, I agree with all of you – Calvary does an AMAZING job and I love the show, I’m not arguing with that at all.

My issue is the current location, which has been outgrown. This started many years ago, and there were not near as many attendees as there are now. Word spread and now people from all over descend upon this tiny park, and it is too much for a small neighborhood park. (I was in Antioch last week and actually saw a sign advertising this event out there, WTF?).

As others have mentioned, I don’t think the pavilion is a good venue, but I think that Cowell Park would be IDEAL for this event and I wish the event organizers would consider this. That park is much larger, has WAY more lawn area too! It would be a win-win for everyone!

@steven July 6, 2012 at 8:07 AM

No parking. Even less than the current site.

Anon July 6, 2012 at 8:15 AM

The city used to provide certain cultural events at the pavilion at no cost to the public. Free parking. They were, in addition to graduations, symphonies, and some concerts. They even used to have their own fireworks there. They should reserve the dates for this event, not charge for parking, and dinate the facility. It’s not like it’s being used for anything else.

G July 6, 2012 at 8:39 AM

At “Start the Campaign Drive”….nice job, very well put and the best comment on this blog. The people who complain about the Flag are the same people who live by a park and complain when there’s a soccer or baseball, etc tournament going on, or when they go swimming they complain to the life guard that they’re getting splashed by a bunch of kids trying to have fun, or they complain to Safeway because they can’t leave the store without getting asked by a girl scout if they’d like to buy cookies, etc… The Flag is a great event and the folks at Calvary Temple put on a wonderful clean show. Keep up the good work!

T July 6, 2012 at 8:46 AM

at #29 – what do you mean no parking? Cowell Park has MORE parking, if anything, than the current location. The current park does not have a parking lot at all – Cowell Park has its own parking lot.

Seems like a much better location for this event in the future than the small park it is at now.

Sparkerdooo July 6, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Wake up #17 . . . . So this is the reason we shouldn’t have the “singing flag” here anymore?
So what is your alternative…. Rather than having your community celebrate “Independence Day” and grasp on to the little bit of patriotic spirit that’s left in this country, what should we do. Live life in the Doom and Gloom you write about? It’s meant to be entertaining, while giving thanks to those who serve for our freedom!
We go to Plays and the Theater for movies, which don’t always project the truth; however we go to these two hour long things to maybe just feel good.
We’re ALL aware of what is going on in this scary world….just give us a day or two without rubbing it in over and over, so we can celebrate the moment.
Relax a little, these “Dog and Pony” shows are not put on hurt you or us in any way……..
I just wouldn’t want to live in your world where everything is depressing

Skyscraper July 6, 2012 at 9:12 AM

What many of you people fail to realize is the special design of Dave Brubeck Park that makes this the perfect venue for the Singing Flag. Dave Brubeck Park is not just an average park with grass, picnic tables, playground, and walking path. Dave Brubeck Park is an “Outdoor Amplitheater” with a clearly defined stage and audience seating area. Cowell Park does not have an outdoor amplitheater. The fireworks are set off currently in the Concord High School stadium, a convenient place to do such a thing. There is no segregated area under which to set off fireworks over at Cowell Park. And the city certainly won’t let anyone set off fireworks over all the houses.

Blondegirl July 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Great Job Calvary Temple! This was my first year actually getting to watch the show. I have been in it for the past 10 years & have loved being apart of it. Now on a different perspective I can see how the crowds are large, the parking is on the minimal side, and the PA system can be a bit obnoxious, and yes the fireworks are loud over the three nights. However, I know that Antioch got their fireworks back this year but it took a big petition and fundrasing from the people to do it! Last year we were the only one in contra costa putting on fireworks and for three nights! That’s a lot of fun sparklers in thre sky! I understand how it can be noisy for a few weeks and can be unsettling for animals but it is only for a few very short weeks at no cost to the community. Calvary tries very hard to put this on at no cost to the community because we LOVE our community and LOVE to serve and provide a fun family night for the fourth with fireworks. Calvary pays ALL cost for the event including all the police, security, and fireworks. All very big costs. I agree that the park seems a bit outgrown but Dave B. park has a stage which is a big factor to think about. Also, moving to the pavilion really isn’t an option. We would lose the family feel, the free parking and (or add that cost to the churchs cost for the event) and the FIREWORKS. Those are pretty big deals. I love this event and the intention is never to bother anyone, dis-honor any military or be obnoxious. This comminuty has been very gracious and we have been pleased to give this gift to you year after year. Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th! =)

G July 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

nice job Skyscraper.

Rick T July 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM

@Skyscraper: no room to set off fireworks here?
You have got to be kidding me. Cowell Park is ENORMOUS compared to Dave Brubeck Park, ample room for the large crowd, stage, parking and room to set off fireworks in the back part of the park or at the school next door.

Antler July 6, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Skyscraper, at Cowell Park the fireworks could be launched from Los Lomas fields/parking lot. Keep in mind that in future there will be homes next to CHS athletic fields in CNWS.

But that’s not really the point, and you are the one who is failing “to realize”!!! The event needs to be moved out of ANYONE’S residential neighborhood.

How about the church buying more property up where its buildings are located? (Is that even in Concord?……getting City taxpayer support for The Flag?) Bulldoze your OWN natural amphitheater! Probably a lot of people would donate to a down payment fund.

Clasping Forehead July 6, 2012 at 10:22 AM


You wrote “The pavilion was built because the jazz festival outgrew the park. The Singing Flag causes much more noise and traffic than the Jazz Festival did. What gives city of Concord?”

That is 100% correct information.

V July 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

one of my beloved pet parents lives in the area of the Singing Flag/ Brubeck park and she tells me of people parking on the street and BLOCKING HER DRIVEWAY. Now, I’ve had to park my car on a street before, but I’m not ever so rude as to block a driveway!!! Come on now people… What if there had been a fire or medical emergency?? I’m all for people enjoying the Singing Flag and other festivities around town, but come on now… can we use a wee bit of common courtesy and common sense and NOT BLOCK A DRIVEWAY?!?!?

twallace July 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

keep up the good work love the show

anon July 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM

A park should be a park. The July 4th Singing Flag needs to find a suitable home.

anon July 6, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Calvary Church: Please have whoever put your signs up for Singing Flag remove them ok?

anon July 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Start the Campaign Drive – Just because it is free doesn’t mean we have to support it.

Skyscraper July 7, 2012 at 12:19 AM

Yes, the Singing Flag needs a suitable home, which is an outdoor amplitheater. They have that suitable home at Dave Brubeck Park, Concord’s outdoor amplitheater. May they continue to have this suitable venue for many years to come.

bisquick July 7, 2012 at 7:39 AM

I can’t speak for the neighbors. If they have complaints, they definitely have standing to have them addressed. But as an attendee, that parks every year way down Mendicino, the location is great! I hope it stays right where it is. It wouldn’t be the same without the amphitheater. I think the vibe would be lost at the Concord Pavilion. The Singing Flag is a unique, magical, homegrown, bit of Americana. We’re lucky. It may not last forever, and when it’s gone we won’t believe we once had something so awesome in our community. Thanks Calvary Temple!

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