NEW BETHLEHEM – Area skies will come to life in the coming days as several local communities, including New Bethlehem and Clarion, celebrate Independence Day with firework displays.

Festivities in New Bethlehem will be held Wednesday, July 3, and will include fireworks and entertainment hosted by the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce in Gumtown Park along Water Street.

Starting at 7 p.m., local band, Son of Leroy, will perform on the park stage and continue until dark, when the fireworks show by PyroExtreme will light up the sky from its launching site across the Red Bank Creek at Shirey’s Landing.

“It’s always been a nice event,” said chamber firework’s chairman Austin Blose, noting that spectators should expect a longer fireworks display this year.

According to Blose, Cornerstone Church of God has once again signed up as a food vendor for the event, as well as Zack’s Restaurant, which will offer picnic-style food options as a benefit for the Redbank Valley Chamber.

“All of the proceeds from the Zack’s booth will go back to the chamber,” he said.

New vendors at the park this year include an area face painter and local Girl Scout Emily Truitt who — with the help of Zack’s Restaurant — will operate a lemonade stand to benefit her Victory Garden project in New Bethlehem.

“A lot of families come out for the event. We usually get hundreds of people in the park.” Blose said, explaining that the Independence Day festivities will include something for attendees of all ages. He added that he hopes to see the event grow in the future. “It’s nice that the chamber is able to do this for the community. We’re hoping for another great year.”

For those watching the fireworks from locations other than the park, the J.M. Smucker peanut butter factory in New Bethlehem is asking that no one park on or near the company property, including Walnut Street. The company will be in full operation during this time and will have trucks coming and going.

Also on July 3, the Clarion Area Chamber of Business & Industry will also mark Independence Day with its annual “I Love Clarion” Celebration at Clarion University Memorial Stadium.

Gates open at 5 p.m., with local country singer Coston Cross kicking off the event with a performance from 5 to 7 p.m.

Local businesses and vendors will be on hand also beginning at 5 p.m., selling food and refreshments — including hamburgers, hot dogs, kettle corn and frozen custard.

Back by popular demand, the Wrangler Band will take the stage at 7 p.m., performing a variety of music from country hits to classic rock.

C93 will host a live remote during the event, which will culminate at dusk with the fireworks display presented by Pyrotecnico.

In an effort to support current military members, a collection table accepting donations will be available. Monetary donations to assist with shipping costs to the troops are also greatly appreciated.

Anyone interested in volunteering at this year’s event should contact the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry at (814) 226-9161 or info@clarionpa.com. More information on the event is available at www.clarionpa.com, or the Clarion Chamber’s Facebook page.

Dates for other area Independence Day firework displays include:

• July 3 — St. Marys Area High School, St. Marys, at dark.

Local News Coverage

• July 4 — Barclay Square, Punxsutawney (Groundhog Festival), at 9:45 p.m.

• July 4 — Corsica Fireman’s Grounds, Corsica, at dark.

• July 4 — Taylor Memorial Park, Brockway, at approximately 9:45 p.m.

• July 4 — Wolf’s Corners Fairgrounds, Tionesta (Wolf’s Corner’s Fair), at 10 p.m.

• July 4 — MACA Park, Marienville, at 10 p.m.

• July 4 — Ford City Memorial Park, Ford City (Summerfest), at 10 p.m.

• July 6 — Cameron High School Football Field, Emporium, at 9:30 p.m.

• July 7 — Ford City Memorial Park, Ford City (Summerfest), at 10 p.m.

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