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July 2, 2013

Van Pelt to belt it out before fireworks in Danvers

DANVERS — If the weather holds, there will be fireworks in the sky and on the stage tomorrow night.

“American Idol” top 10 contestant Erika Van Pelt and her band are scheduled to headline the stage show from 8 to 9 p.m., before the rockets light up the night sky at the Danvers Family Festival’s fireworks. Her set will feature songs from her upcoming debut album.

Rhode Island’s Van Pelt is a season 11 finalist of “American Idol” and was also a judge for the annual Danvers Idol singing contest, held at Danvers High on Friday. Contestant Alexandra Valenti, 17, of Manchester was crowned the new Danvers Idol.

“I’m definitely excited about playing on the third,” Van Pelt said in an email. “I’ve heard from several sources that the Danvers Fireworks is especially good!”

Van Pelt, a musician used to working holidays, said she is excited to have the opportunity to watch the fireworks after she performs. Her performance will include some songs from her new record and some covers everyone knows. She recently filmed a music video in Peabody, and her single, “Listen Learn Then Delete,” is being released this month on iTunes.

Valenti, an incoming senior at Manchester Essex Regional High School, beat out nine other finalists for the top prize of $500. The win also gave Valenti a chance to wow the crowd with her voice at the fireworks.

The stage show, which kicks off at 6 p.m., is also meant to entertain the crowd as it files into a fenced-in Plains Park. New security measures have been put in place due to the Boston Marathon bombings.

There will be three security checkpoints to the park at 55 Conant St., behind Holten Richmond Middle School: on Porter Street, at the main entrance on Lane Parkway and toward the rear of the school, according to Danvers police Sgt. Robert Bettencourt. After officials sweep the park, it will open at 4 p.m.

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