Well, it’s that time of year when Americans will be out in force with block parties, cookouts, and all other ways of living it up on a Wednesday to honor some pretty ballsy dudes who signed a piece of paper 236 years ago. If you’re in the State College area, here’s what you need to know to make the best of the Central PA 4th Fest.
This is a new addition to the festivities, as part of the America’s Got Heroes portion of the day, which recognizes American heroes right here in town. The parade starts at 2 p.m. outside the State College Municipal Building (234 S. Allen St.) and will finish up at the Law Building. You can find a map of the parade route here, and keep in mind that East College Avenue between Allen Street and Shortlidge Road will be closed down for the parade.
Firecracker 4K Race
This works out to 2½ miles, and is a good way to blow off some steam—or, if you’re like me, who struggles with these distances, take it at a walk. The race starts in front of the Bryce Jordan Center at 9 a.m. and lasts for, well, however long it takes you to run/walk 4 km. The map of the race route can be found here. It’s best to get your exercise out of the way early so you can fill up on healthy things like burgers, hot dogs, and good ol’ American beer for the rest of the day.
Activities & Entertainment
There’s a whole host of carnival activities, as well as others, going on should you choose to eschew some of the potential cookout antics that may or may not be happening downtown. There’s a carnival running all day from 2 p.m. to midnight, as well as a military equipment display on Curtin Road by the Bryce Jordan Center, and a station for Operation Thank You on Curtin Road, where you can (and should) send thank you cards and/or donations to American troops. In the same vein, there will be three flyovers of a B-25 aircraft (real old; from World War II) each hour from 6-8 p.m. And, for those of you who can’t hold your fire until the fireworks display in evening, there will be pyrotechnics demonstrations at 4, 5:30, and 7 p.m. For details on these activities and those of additional activities, check out 4th Fest’s guide.
A huge slate of musical acts will be performing throughout the day as well. Check those out here.
This is the moment you’ve probably all been waiting for; the most sacred tradition the 4th of July has to offer. Because fireworks are just plain awesome. The display is set to begin at 9:20 p.m. and the fireworks are launched from behind Medlar Field. There’s a VIP viewing area that costs $25 to get into, and you’ll be able to see effects that, according to 4th Fest, are about 35% of the show. But for free viewing, get in on the action anywhere on the side of the Bryce Jordan Center toward Medlar field, in the parking lots or the fields.
So with your day off, celebrate Independence Day however you choose! Whether it’s a 5K race or a cookout and lots of beer, fireworks or otherwise, enjoy the nice summer day. The forecast calls for rain, but let’s all cross our fingers that it holds off.