KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Across the Montgomery County Region, July 4th is a time of patriotism, traditionalism and celebration.

"Visitors and residents alike would be hard pressed to find a better locale to celebrate our hard-won freedoms than Montgomery County," says Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau President Bill Fitzgerald. "As the site of one of the pivotal periods in our nation's quest for independence, a visit to Valley Forge is almost a must-do around July 4th."

The following events should light the fuse for a sparkling good time as we mark our nation's 237th birthday.

  • Valley Forge National Historical Park presents a full roster of Independence Day activities, including the display of a rare facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, an appearance by Thomas Jefferson and a full-bore, old-fashioned cookout starting at 11 a.m. The blowout continues with artillery demonstrations and plenty of games, tours and activities. The day's programming is sponsored by PECO.
  • At the Valley Forge Casino Resort, rev your engines for the Salute Our Freedom Car Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This competitive event honors the top 50 entries, including 15 specialty trophies. The Shockwave Monster Truck is part of the high-octane event; its 66-inch tires are taller than Martha Washington.

Parades throughout Montgomery County are plentiful:

  • The Glenside-Abington event features ongoing, morning-into-night patriotic activities. Two parades are scheduled, one for children at 10 a.m. at Cheltenham Township's Harry Renninger Memorial Park, and the 110th Annual Grand, Glorious, Patriotic Parade at 4 p.m.
  • After the parade in Jenkintown, which begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at Town Square (Greenwood and Leedom), hot dogs and soft drinks are for sale, benefiting neighborhood fire stations.
  • The decorated vehicles, costumed citizens, citizen groups and brownie troops of Norristown Borough start parading at 10:30 a.m. adjacent to the Norristown Courthouse. They wind up on Harding Boulevard, near Elmwood Park Zoo.
  • In Pottstown, the parade steps off at 10 a.m., marching down High Street. Toe-tapping music comes from local marching bands and a vintage, steam-powered calliope.
  • Skippack's long-running traditional parade begins at 11 a.m. and travels Skippack Pike (Route 73) through the heart of Skippack Village. In the heat, local firefighters will cool down the crowds with a spray from their pumpers.

What's an Independence Day without fireworks? Lame, that's what! The displays listed here (confirmed as of 06.06.13) are sure to dazzle you with the glittery boom of nighttime pyrotechnics. Shows begin at dusk (± 9 p.m.); check your local municipalities for full details, including possible cancellations for weather.

  • Abington: Abington Senior/Junior High, 900 Highland Ave
  • Chesterbrook: Wilson Farm Park (500 Lee Road)
  • Conshohocken: Sutcliffe Park (W. 9th & Freedley St)
  • 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

"Beyond the call to honor our history, we've got some of the warmest, brightest and most traditionally deep Independence Day celebrations anywhere," Fitzgerald says. "July 4 this year falls on a Thursday, meaning that visitors can, with some vacation-time flexibility, plan an entire four-day weekend here. That's plenty of time to soak in the local sounds, flavors and sights of a truly memorable Independence Day. Our varied hospitable accommodations provide a chance to relax those feet from parade-watching and envelop that head in comfort, easing the echoing boom of fireworks."

For hotel information and reservations, see the website of the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ltd. is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that aggressively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Bureau's website,, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents. Follow our new blog, The Pursuit.

# # #