Contact: John Golden
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July 4th in Valley Forge and Montgomery County Brings Pomp, Parades and Pyrotechnics
Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board Is the Go-to Source For Info on Independence Day Celebrations Countywide
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - With July 4 falling on a Saturday in 2015, the celebrations in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., are even more accessible, presenting not only festivities and fireworks but also the convenience of timeframes unencumbered by the traditional workweek.
History buffs and seekers of family fun should have no trouble finding a nearby parade, festival, celebration, picnic or best of all, nighttime aerial spectacular.
One of the region's most comprehensive - and best loved - Independence Day celebrations overtakes both Cheltenham and Abington Townships for a full day of patriotic pomp.
The celebration begins with a kid-centric parade of decorated bikes, trikes and strollers that, beginning at 10 a.m., make their way to Renninger Memorial Park. Once there, a series of games and competitions begins, with medals awarded for excellence in skills such as three-legged racing and covering a set distance while jumping in a sack. An informal lunch follows.
At 4 p.m., the infamous Glenside parade starts to wind its way from North Penn 676 VFW Post to Renninger Memorial Park, a route of 1.5 miles. This massive collection of marchers, merrymakers and musicians features marching bands, dance troupes, drum and bugle corps, Mummers, veterans groups, legions of police and first responders and of course, fire trucks.
At about 9 p.m., revelers gather at Abington High School for the granddaddy of Montco fireworks displays, the "America the Beautiful Aerial Fireworks Spectacular." Comprising more than 1,000 shells and lasting almost a full half hour, is an engulfing experience, especially as the mortar fire resonates with a thump in your solar plexus.
The serene - and significant - setting of Valley Forge National Historical Park is the perfect backdrop for the July 4 All-American Cookout, which starts at 11 a.m. A full day of historic happenings and patriotic play follows.
The docket includes games, crafts, tours, storytelling, artillery demonstrations, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and the check presentation from the Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run®, whose fundraising efforts produced the largest amount of support in 2015 ($35,000).
At 10 a.m., Narbeth Playground hosts a day-long program that begins with an invocation, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem. From there, things turn decidedly infantile, with a baby parade and a diaper derby.
Young hoopsters can vie for prizes in the foul shooting contest at 11 a.m. The athletic challenges continue at 12:15 p.m. with a variety of races and competitions, including an obstacle course. A lip-smacking pie-eating contest follows at 1:30 p.m. in the gazebo.
The evening hours are filled with music, courtesy of both live performers and a DJ. They are only the opening act for the volleys of colorful starbursts, chrysanthemums, rockets and cascades that bring the day to a spectacular close.
Conshohocken's Independence Day programming actually begins the night before, with an opening fireworks display July 3 at Sutcliffe Park.
On July 4, spectators
line up early on Fayette Street for the annual Soap
Box Derby. The start flag at
8 a.m. sends racers ranging in age from seven to 18 zooming down two lanes of almost 1,000 feet in length. As they vie for prizes, they will reach speeds as fast as 35 miles per hour.
Historic Skippack was used as an access route for General Washington and his maneuvering troops during the Revolution, so it's no wonder this little berg - wearing its patriotic heart clearly on its sleeve -embraces July 4 so wholeheartedly.
The day begins at 11 a.m. with one of the most festive and eclectic Independence Day parades around. The brigades, floats and bands march into the heart of Skippack Village, where the sidewalks swell with spectators.
At 3 p.m., the chefs at Parc Bistro use their culinary skills to serve up some delectable barbecue, which provides ample fortification to tide crowds over for the fireworks at Palmer Park at dusk.
Early revelers who want to celebrate our nation's independence with a hearty challenge can take part in the Norristown July 4 5k Run. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at Norristown Area High School.
By 10 a.m., spectators camp out for excellent views of the annual parade, which begins solemnly with local singer Alaina Nelson leading the National Anthem. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at Airy and DeKalb Streets, heads down Airy, turns right on Astor, veers left on West Marshall to Standbridge and ends in Elmwood Park ball fields.
Elmwood Park then becomes event-central, with a loaded program of children's activities and music.
After sunset, it's time for fireworks, again at Elmwood Park.
Pottstown's July 4 party gets off to a challenging start with the Patriotic 5k, which sets runners off on a course that has them facing the steep grade of the Hill School not once but twice.
At 10:15 a.m., the whistle blows to begin the July 4 parade, signaling the red-white-and-blue march down High Street. One of the signature sounds of this parade is the old-time steam calliope, a rolling musical monstrosity that fills the entire borough with music.
Where to Find Fireworks
Fireworks will illuminate the skies all across Valley Forge and Montgomery County for the Independence Day holiday. Start times vary but in general are 8:45 p.m. or so, depending on sunset. Also, shows are weather dependent, meaning that rain will cause postponements. Check online to verify.
Otherwise, get ready to ooh and ahh at a fantastic neighborhood show:
- Conshohocken: Sutcliffe Park (W. 9th & Freedley St)
- Norco Fair Fireworks: Pottstown (Route 724 East of Coventry Mall)
- Chesterbrook: Wilson Farm Park (500 Lee Road)
- Limerick: Waltz Golf Farm (303 W. Ridge Pike)
- Lower Providence: Eagleville Park (100 Parklane Drive)
- Narberth: Chet Tyson Pavilion (80 Windsor Avenue)
- Norristown: Elmwood Park (Sterigere Street and Harding Boulevard)
- Phoenixville: Friendship Field, (corner of Fillmore and Franklin)
- Skippack: Palmer Park (Heckler & Creamery RDs)
- Upper Merion: Heuser Park (W. Beidler Rd & Geerdes Blvd), King of Prussia
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The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's award-winning website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, its industry-recognized, twice-weekly blog.