America’s World Cup run might be over, but at least our patriotism has another chance to be put on display today. If you’re in State College for Independence Day, the annual 4th Fest celebration will be impossible to miss. As usual, it’s equipped with a full slate of events for Freedom Day. Here’s your quick guide to the event so you know what to expect.
Firecracker 4k Race
The first of 4th Fest’s events is the annual Firecracker 4k, open to runners and walkers of all skill levels. Last year, nearly 1,200 took part in the race around Penn State. It starts at 9 a.m. and will begin in Beaver Stadium’s west lot and go past the IM fields before coming back down Bigler Road and ending at the Bryce Jordan Center.
America’s Got Heroes Parade
The third annual America’s Got Heroes parade will honor eight heroes of central Pennsylvania amid other town fixtures. Beginning at 2 p.m., the route will run from the municipal building to downtown State College, then across Penn State’s campus to the law building. The parade will kick off amidst the ringing of all the church bells in State College. It’ll even have an appearance from the Vamos Lion Chariot guy!
There’s certainly no shortage of entertainment options today. More than 22 bands will take to three different stages (Lot 44, the BJC lawn, and Beaver Stadium’s west lot) throughout the day beginning at 2 p.m. On top of that, there will be a BMX show in the BJC’s lower east parking lot. If you’re looking for something a bit more out of the ordinary, a team of lumberjacks will perform three shows including everything from axes to log rolling.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that this fireworks show is the largest annual one in the state of Pennsylvania. 4th Fest has big things planned once again — during the finale of the show, a whopping 27 shells will pop per second. This year’s show has been in the works since fall 2013, so it’s not surprising that 10,830 shells in all will pop off. The 4th Fest fireworks I saw when I was in LEAP make for one of my best Penn State memories, so I highly recommend heading over to Porter Road at nightfall.