UNIVERSITY PARK - They sky will be bright as day when the Central Pennsylvania 4thFest shoots off one of the top three fireworks shows in the United States, as rated by Fireworks Guide.
The 4thFest is a day-long family-oriented, patriotic birthday party held on the Fourth of July on the east campus of Penn State, at Bryce Jordan Center, the football stadium and nearby venues.
The 4thFest is organized by Central Pennsylvania July 4 Inc., a non-profit organization with an all-volunteer board and leadership team. More than 500 volunteers and 220 sponsors are dedicated to celebrating America's independence with fun-filled activities and the largest and best all-volunteer fireworks display in the nation.
- The Firecracker 4K Race at 9 a.m. for runners and walkers of all skill levels and ages. A digital timing system will be used to determine winners in various age categories, and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in all categories. For a map of the route, visit www.4thFest.org.
- World War II B-25 "Yankee Warrior" on display at the airport from 10:15 a.m. Fly-overs of 4thFest are planned at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.
- America's Got Heroes Parade of Heroes at 2 p.m., a new feature this year. The parade will start in front of the State College Municipal Building, travel through downtown State College and across campus to end at the PSU Law School Building.
- Entertainment from 2 p.m. until the fireworks at three venues: the Stadium West Stage in the Stadium West parking lot, the Bryce Jordan Center Lawn Acoustic Stage just south of the Founder's Mall, and the Towne Square in the handicapped lot across from the Sports Museum.
- Midway Carnival by Penn Valley Shows with rides and games for all ages, 2 p.m.-midnight, Stadium West.
- Military equipment display featuring a Stryker, HMVVEE, and FMTV vehicles, 4-8 p.m., Curtin Road near Bryce Jordan Center
- Operation Thank-You tent, sponsored by Centre Communications, where everyone can show appreciation to the troops by signing a card or donating personal items, 4-8 p.m., Curtin Road.
- Pyrotechnics demonstrations at 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m. by 4thFest volunteers.
- Founder's Mall activities 4-8 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center lot, including kids' crafts, kids' ID provided by State College Borough Police, mini golf and a pyrotechnics demonstration.
- The 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company C, a Civil War-era living history group with demonstrations of military and civilian home life throughout the day on the field near the VIP tents. Additionally, Company C will march from its encampment to the giant cake to salute and sing "Happy Birthday" to the USA, then read the Declaration of Independence at 6 p.m.
- "4thFest Freedom Franks," free hot dogs and chips (donations appreciated), 4-8 p.m. at Towne Square in the handicapped lot across from the sports museum.
- Bob Swaim's unique People-Powered Vehicles display and demonstration of historic and innovative bicycles, plus an amazing golf ball pyramid, 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the All Sports Museum Plaza
- Sky's the Limit Ballooning providing tethered hot air balloon rides, wind and weather permitting, 5-9 p.m.
- Family Fun at the ball park, 5-9 p.m. at Medlar Field.
- Giant cake by Giant Foods, a 14-foot-long flag cake served by the employees of RESTEK, 6 p.m., Stadium West, with the line forming around 5:30 p.m. and singing "Happy Birthday" to our nation just before the cake is cut and served.
- The fireworks, 9:15 p.m.
- Street Dance with Chris Vipond and the Stanley Street Band, 10:15 p.m., Town Square.
The fireworks are choreographed to music played on 93.7 The Bus. Volunteers anticipate using more than 10,500 shells for the 45-minute show, with more than 180 different types of shells used. The grand finale promises a heart-pounding 45 shells per second!
VIP viewing area tickets are available through the Bryce Jordan Center box office.
Parking for the fireworks and other events is available in various fields, and a donation of $10 per car is requested.
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