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EIGHT, ARIZONA PBS PRESENTS PBS’ A CAPITOL FOURTH
LIVE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. – JULY 4 at 7PM & 8:30PM 

Eight, Arizona PBS to air live: America’s Independence Day Celebration


PHOENIX -- (June 27, 2013) Eight, Arizona PBS will celebrate America’s birthday with the country’s most patriotic Independence Day party during its 33rd annual live broadcast of A Capitol Fourth on July 4 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Eight. Tom Bergeron, the two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality (Dancing With the Stars), returns for the second year to host the nation’s favorite 4th of July tradition, featuring a star-studded concert and the biggest and brightest fireworks display anywhere in the country. Twenty television cameras will be stationed around the stage on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to capture the sights and sounds of the concert, making at-home viewers and U.S. troops serving around the world watching via the American Forces Network feel like they are front and center for the show.

“What better place, really, to celebrate our nation’s birthday than our nation’s capitol?” says Bergeron. “It’s a great honor to celebrate our birthday collectively - everybody together - on live TV, which I love - and on PBS, which I love.  So, you put that all together.  It’s a win-win.”

The program will feature music legend Barry Manilow, back by popular demand following his powerful debut performance on the show in 2009. Manilow will lead an all-star cast, including Candice Glover, the Season 12 winner of American Idol, country music artist and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, actor and singer Darren Criss (Glee), musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho, Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (Smash), Broadway’s new hit Motown The Musical, and five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams conducting music from the Oscar-winning blockbuster Lincoln, with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

Also, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Diamond will debut his tribute song inspired by the Boston Marathon bombing at A Capitol Fourth. In the wake of the bombing, Diamond became an inspirational figure in the city's recovery efforts. The Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning musician and songwriter was moved to write about the incomprehensible tragedy that rocked the city on April 15, 2013, and will nationally debut "Freedom Song (They'll Never Take Us Down)," on the 33rd annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth. 100% of the proceeds from the song sales will benefit One Fund Boston and the Wounded Warrior Project.

"I, like so many other Americans, felt helpless during the recent attacks in Boston and wanted to reach out and not only help those people affected in a direct way but to lift their spirits as well and let them know they were not alone; that the entire American community felt a close kinship with them," shared Diamond. "I was inspired to devote myself to the creation of a new song which expressed my love for this country and its two greatest assets: the spirit of its people and the freedoms it has afforded us all by law."

The show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by The United States Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and a tradition of A Capitol Fourth. Also participating in the event will be The Choral Arts Society of Washington, along with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

“The troops are the ones defending the freedom we’re celebrating in Washington, so I feel a responsibility to help put on a really good show for them, because they’re the ones who deserve it most,” says Bergeron.

The broadcast is made possible by grants from The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Department of the Army, PBS and public television viewers nationwide. Air travel is provided by American Airlines.

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For 50 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.