19th Annual

Star Spangled Fourth

7:30 pm / 4 July 2016

The Independence Day Chorus & Orchestra

Joe Gransden

Broadway star Russel Joel Brown

Lucia, the St. John Women's Ensemble

Cary Purdy, Bagpipes

Keith Shafer, Musical Director

7 World War II Veterans and active duty military from all 5 branches will participate

Afterglow Party catered by Publix, Coca~Cola, and Pet Dairy


The Riverwalk Series, Inc. is an arts organization established in 1998 with a mission “to present concerts in downtown Augusta for the benefit of the public.” The organization has sponsored numerous nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians, has presented the Star Spangled Concert that precedes Augusta, Georgia's downtown fireworks show on the 4th of July, has been a sponsor of Westobou Festival events. Concerts are held in the nave of historic Saint Paul's Church, established in 1751 and the site of the founding of the city of Augusta.

Honor a vet, family members, or your country

Assist in making the 2016 Star Spangled Fourth celebration possible. Gifts can be made in various amounts and as thanksgivings or memorials to honor friends, family, or country. See the details on the “Purchase Tickets” page click here!

Complete information and tickets are available online @ www.riverwalkseries.com
You can also make gifts in memory or thanksgiving for loved ones or country.
Box Office 706-722-3463 (24 hours)

Credit Cards

This Year's Vets

Every year the Star Spangled Fourth concert includes a medley of the anthems of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as the Merchant Marines. The vets on this page are this year’s honorees and will follow active-duty U.S. Military as the colors of each branch are brought forward and presented.

MERCHANT MARINES: Fireman Water Tender/Oiler Manly DeLoach ('Pee-Wee') Padgett. Served on fuel oil Tankers in the Pacific that included receiving 7 SOS calls in one day in the Caroline Islands. Worked for Post Office after war, rising to Postmaster, Edgefield, SC. Active duty: April 1945 to 1947.

ARMY: Staff Sergeant Fred Ashhurst. Trained with the 580th Anti-Aircraft battalion before serving in Europe. Crossed Remagen Bridge and the Elbe River at war's end. Became tennis professional in New York before moving south. This year, Fred will celebrate his 100th Birthday in December. Active duty: February 1941 to November 1945.

COAST GUARD: Radarman 2nd Class Marion Gilbert. Participated on amphibious invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific on an LST connected to the Navy. Early involvement in occpation of Japan. Following college, had long career in sales. Active duty: November 1943 to April 1946.

MARINES: Corporal Chester McCoy. Served in combat with 4th Marine Division at Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima and Roi-Namur, where he served under posthumous Medal of Honor winner Jimmy Dyess. Employed at Borden's after service, 40 years. Active Duty: August 1943 to November 1945.

AIR FORCE: First Lieutenant Jim Wetzel. Flew on B-29 Superfortress, 20th Air Force, on 23 raids over Japan. Entire crew awarded Distinguished Flying Cross as night Pathfinders, 3rd raid on Tokyo. After war, became Patent Attorney in Chicago, before moving south. Active duty: June 1943 to December 1945.

NAVY: Seaman 3rd Class Joe Vignati. Served on flight deck, Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Bunker Hill during deadliest Kamikaze suicide plane attack of the war. After the war, he worked with his brother-in-law in the HVAC business 30 years. Active duty: October 1942 to October 1945.

NAVY WAVE: Seaman 1st Class Ann W. Heaney. Served in Navy Department, Washington, D.C., last year of war. Married near war's end, she then went to college before becoming a mother. Active duty: April 1945 to December 1945.

About Us

The Riverwalk Series, Inc. was established in 1993 to provide concerts in downtown Augusta to benefit the public. It began with a series of concerts called "Great Choirs" that featured celebrated choral groups from Europe and America. In 1996 it began the popular Star Spangled Fourth Concert on the 4th of July, the only air-conditioned concert in downtown Augusta preceding the city's annual fireworks display. A Star Spangled Fourth features patriotic hits performed by the Independence Day Chorus and Orchestra, a group of 100 musicians and guest vocalists who perform before sell-out crowds each year. After the city of Augusta's Westobou Festival was established in 2008 the series began presenting concerts as part of the festival and have included performances by Elizabeth von Trapp (The Trapp Family), Tin Pan Alley (New York City), and the 2011 festival concert by the New England Spiritual Ensemble.

Board of Directors

Carolyn Dolen, President
Richard Manning, Vice-President
Panny Force, Secretary-Treasurer
Catherine Boardman
Gerry Chambers
Alan Cooke
Marti Costantino
Lee Robertson
Dr. Randolph Smith
Frederick P. Gehle
Keith Shafer, Artistic Director, Ex Officio


Funding for Riverwalk Series events is provided through funding from corporations, foundations, and private donors.
For information on becoming an event sponsor, contact us at info@riverwalkseries.com