Don McLean will sing his iconic song "American Pie" with backing from the Portland Symphony Orchestra as part of Portland's annual Fourth of July celebration on the Eastern Promenade. Organizers of the Stars and Stripes Spectacular are scheduled to announce McLean's appearance Tuesday morning at a news conference on the Eastern Prom.
McLean, 67, who lives in Camden, was "very accommodating" when contacted about singing at Portland's celebration, said Jon Jennings, president of July 4th Portland, the nonprofit group that runs the event.
An estimated 60,000 people have swarmed the Eastern Prom for a combination fireworks and concert show each of the past few years. The symphony has performed a concert synchronized to the fireworks every year since 2010, and Maine comedian Bob Marley has performed as well.
But having the creator of "American Pie" sing it on the anniversary of American independence may be the event's biggest moment yet.
"We're lucky to get this iconic American singer to sing one of the (most) popular songs of the last century," said Jennings.
McLean was not available to talk Monday about his appearance.
In addition to "American Pie," McLean will sing his 1972 hit "Vincent," a song about artist Vincent van Gogh that includes the repeated line "starry, starry night." He will perform with the symphony between 7:30 p.m. and the start of the fireworks, Jennings said. The symphony will then play marches once the fireworks begin.
The concert will be broadcast live on Portland radio station WHOM (94.9 FM).
July 4th Portland began organizing the city's Independence Day celebration in 2010, when an annual fireworks show was cut from the city budget and private companies stepped forward to provide funding.