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4th Fest Fireworks to Light Up All Corners of State College

by and on July 02, 2020 5:37 PM

During a summer that is missing many of its celebrations and milestones, there will still be fireworks in the sky over the Centre Region on the Fourth of July, thanks to a huge effort by Central PA 4th Fest.

After the big annual Independence Day celebration was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19, festival organizers worked hard to find four locations to set up around the Centre Region where they will be setting off simultaneous fireworks shows that will be visible in surrounding neighborhoods for people to see while safely maintaining social distancing.

Executive Director Frank Savino said it is a way the event can give back to the community.

“July Fourth is still our Independence Day. It is still a day to celebrate and commemorate the birth of our country. We have a great community that has supported us for a number of years and this is the year 4th Fest wants to pay it forward back to the community by us basically using our resources to fund the fireworks,” said Savino.

The fireworks will be set off in all four corners of town, and should be visible from many homes and parks.

“Most of these fireworks are going to be up pretty high — well above the tree line. Some will go as high as 800 feet, so you don’t have to be underneath them,” said Savino.

The best viewing for the North Atherton Street fireworks will be near the Colonnade Shopping Plaza, Lowes and Home Depot.

On the east side of town, fireworks will be best seen near the Nittany Mall, Sam’s Club and Walmart parking lots.

On the south side of town, the Hills Plaza area will provide the best vantage point, and on the west side, the Science Park Road corridor near Raytheon is the place to be, he said.

“You don’t need to be in a big group. We are encouraging people to practice physical distancing and whatever guidelines are in place when viewing the fireworks,” said Savino. “We are encouraging people, that if you can see them from your neighborhood, that is a good option.”

Medlar Field at Lubrano Park also will host 4th of July with the Spikes, including views of two of the four fireworks displays. More on that below.

A radio show begins at 9 p.m. on all four Forever Media stations (101.1, 93.7, 99.5 and 103.1), with the fireworks set to go off around 9:30 p.m.

Because they are blasting from four locations, the typical 45-minute display will be cut down to 12 to 14 minutes this time around.

To kick off the show, there will be a sing-along to “God Bless America;” Savino said people should look up the lyrics beforehand so they can “sing along with the whole community.”

Organizing four separate fireworks shows on short notice was a challenge, said Savino, but State College Borough and College, Ferguson and Patton townships all “went way out of their way to support the event and make this happen for the community.”

He added, “I can’t thank the municipalities enough for supporting us and getting through the permit process.”

Beginning at 4 p.m., fest volunteers will be streaming a “virtual parade,” which will include pictures and videos from community members, and a virtual entertainment stream that will feature local musicians, including “The Voice’s” Josh Gallagher.

Savino said the event is also encouraging people to become “Hunger Heroes” and support the YMCA’s Anit-Hunger program by donating to the 4th Fest Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive through July 9. Collection points have been set up around town at area businesses and organizations.

“When all this came about, we thought the fireworks are a great thing to rally around and have people feel good about. But this community is hurting still from all the shutdowns and layoffs, so we decided to do a food drive and partner with the YMCA Anti-Hunger Program,” he said.

On July 10 and 11, volunteers will be at a warehouse on Clyde Avenue collecting the donations and businesses and individuals can continue to drop off donations between 9 a.m. and noon, he said.

Rain dates for the fireworks show are July 3 or 5. Keep an eye on centralpa4thfest.org and the fest’s Facebook page for updates.

Fourth of July at Medlar Field

The State College Spikes are offering community members an opportunity to celebrate Independence Day at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with select seating packages that offer prime views of two 4th Fest fireworks locations, as well as the chance for kids to run the bases.

Capacity will be limited to 225 attendees.

The celebration at the ballpark kicks off at 7:30 p.m. when the gates open at Medlar Field, and kids can head straight to the field to run the bases. The basepaths will be open for kids until 9 p.m. Fans will hear the soundtrack of the synchronized fireworks booming over the stadium speakers.

Seating packages will be available for purchase through 4 p.m. on July 4, and all fans must purchase in advance to limit person-to-person contact. Fans can purchase four general admission seats for $20, with additional seats available for $5 apiece. Tickets can be ordered here.

Air-conditioned suites also are available. Two 16-person suites are available for $400 each, with a limited number of suites available to accommodate eight people for $200 each.

Masks will be required for entry into the ballpark and when traveling through the facility, and distancing of six feet should be practiced at all times.

All attendees must park in the Porter North lot, located across from Beaver Stadium.

Medlar Field will be a collection point for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors food drive, and attendees are encouraged to bring something from the list of most critically important items.]

“Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has been a place for the community to come together and celebrate the Fourth of July for many years, and we are proud to do so again safely in 2020 while making a positive impact on the lives of our neighbors,” Spikes General Manager Scott Walker said.

Kids on Wheels Parade

Centre Region Parks and Recreation will host its annual July 4 Kids on Wheels Parade on Saturday morning with decorated bikes, scooters, strollers and wagons.

Because of Pennsylvania's restrictions on large gatherings, participation will be limited to 250 kids and registration in advance is required.

Participants will check in with a CRPR volunteer starting at 9:30 a.m. at the line-up site on East Foster Avenue between Locust Lane and Garner Street. CRPR recommends accessing the site at Locust Lane. 

The parade will step off at 10 a.m., traveling west on Foster Avenue and dispersing at Sidney Friedman Parklet. There will not be a post-parade party in the parklet this year.

Attendees should wear masks.

For those in need of supplies to decorate their bikes, CRPR will be at the lower pavilion at Holmes Foster Park on Friday from 7-8 p.m. to hand out decorating kits. Individuals picking up kits should use proper social distancing and wear a mask.

StateCollege.com's Geoff Rushton contributed to this report.



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.


Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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