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4th Fest Organizers Plan Community Food Drive

by on June 22, 2020 1:19 PM

Things are a bit different this year for Central PA 4th Fest, with four remote fireworks launch sites and a virtual parade among the changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, organizers announced another new feature, one that will have neighbors helping neighbors.

4th Fest is planning a countywide food drive in July to assist community members in need. All food donated will be distributed to YMCA Anti-Hunger Program serving Centre County residents.

“As our community continues to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, the 4th Fest Committee had a strong desire to do something to engage our community in supporting our community,” 4th Fest Executive Director Frank Savino said in a news release. “4th Fest might look a little different this year, but we truly feel the best way to celebrate the birth of our nation and honor the spirit of the festival is for neighbors to help their neighbors.”

The effort got underway Monday with organizers asking businesses and individuals to serve as collection points.

Collection point sign up is available now at the 4th Fest website. Individuals can sign up as collection coordinators for their businesses, organizations, clubs, neighborhoods or the general public. 

From July 1-9, non-perishable food items can be dropped off at the collection points, which will be listed on the 4th Fest website. Community members also are asked to bring food in excess boxes they might have for easier packing of trucks.

A list of the most critically needed food items is here.

Coordinators or volunteers will be asked to drop off food from 9 a.m.-noon on July 10 and 11 at a designated warehouse, which will be identified on the website. Community members who haven't already taken items to a collection point also will be able to bring donations to the warehouse at that time.

“Volunteers have always been the heart and soul of 4th Fest, so we welcome the help from anyone or any group that is interested in supporting the food drive,” Savino said. “Everyone can be a ‘Hunger Hero’ this year by participating.”

Though the traditional 4th Fest festivities were canceled this year, organizers are continuing the tradition of a fireworks spectacular, with four simultaneous shows starting at 9:30 p.m. on July 4 and launched from sites in College Township, Ferguson Township, Patton Township and State College.

The intent is for the fireworks to be visible from backyards, front porches and community gathering spots where social distancing is possible. Though 4th Fest is not providing watch sites, organizers have identified Hills Plaza on South Atherton Street, The Colonnade off of North Atherton Street, the Nittany Mall, and Raytheon on Science Park Road as good viewing sites.

Forever Media will broadcast the synchronized music for the fireworks show on 99.5 WBUS, 93.7 WMAJ, 101.1 WFGE or 103.1 WAPY and online.

In place of the annual parade through State College, 4th Fest also will hold a virtual parade. Community members are invited to submit videos to be included in the parade, and details are available here.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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