Here’s to a Fabulous Fourth!

With 4th of July 2010 on Sunday, the nation is really celebrating with a full three- or four-day weekend of patriotic spirit!

In our home of State College, PA, the (naturally) annual 4th Fest has occurred in some form since 1927, and is considered one of the largest all-volunteer Independence Day celebrations in the country. The full day and night includes the Firecracker 4K race, Spikes minor league baseball game, performances, unique displays, and hot air balloon rides. There are even free hot dogs (donations are appreciated) and a 14-foot American Flag cake! The highlight of the night, of course, is the enormous, volunteer-run fireworks display, choreographed with music you can hear at the event or tune in to on the radio.

Taking a look at ways other areas celebrate Independence Day:

At 10am on the 4th in Aptos, California, the bands, vehicles, and others line up for the World’s Shortest Parade! Yep, you read that right. You can get ready for all that walking with a pancake breakfast preceding the procession, followed by the Party in the Park with food, drinks, music and crafts.

Located near stunning Sedona, Arizona, the Verde Canyon Railroad welcomes riders year-round for neat, scenic trips. Their “Firecracker Express” excursion celebrates the red, white and blue with a barbecue and festive music. Thanks to the moderate Arizona temperatures, for this and other trips there are open-air cars for a unique experience.

Sagamore Hill on Long Island, New York, the home to President Teddy Roosevelt, celebrates with an old-fashioned affair. Free festivities on both the 4th and 5th include tours of Roosevelt’s home, old-fashioned kids games (like a three-legged race and an egg and spoon race!), cultural walks, and reenactments.

It doesn’t have to be the 4th of July though to catch fireworks at Niagara Falls. There are fireworks shows every Friday and Sunday from mid-May to Labor Day Weekend (plus Friday-only shows for another month.) In July and August you can also catch shows on Wednesdays. In addition, the Falls are illuminated with colored lights every night – what a visual masterpiece!

In Roswell, New Mexico (where else?) the 4th adds to the fun of the Roswell UFO Festival. On top of lectures and symposiums, there are tons of free movies, laser shows, costume contests, and an Alien BBQ (the competition is for brisket, chicken, chili, etc., but there is a contest for the best “How to Cook an Alien” recipe!)

Happy Fourth of July from Growing Tree Toys!!


  1. Top Eleven Family Festivals this Summer and Fall - July 5, 2010

    […] no rest from “fests” here in State College! Fresh off of the celebration of the 4th is Arts Fest! Officially known as the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, thousands of […]

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