The Fourth of July celebration in Warren is a brief day or so for most of us, but for a core group of volunteers, planning this year's festivities began on July 5 last year.
"Since the Fourth falls on a Friday this year, we said, 'Let's have a three-day celebration'," Joan Swartz said. She is the advertising and Betts Park chair for the Warren County Fourth of July Organization.
Other than the pre-parade show at General Joseph Warren Park and the downtown parade on Friday, all events will be held at Betts Park, she said.
"There is going to be a lot of music; we already have several marching bands and there will be some bands on floats," she said. "I love every bit of what we are doing. It's just so exciting."
Once again this year, United Refining Co. will sponsor the parade.
Veterans will lead the parade, and all veterans are welcome.
She added that there will be food and craft vendors at both the parade and at Betts Park.
There will be plenty of music at Betts Park as well, with concerts Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Friday night "American Ride" will perform, "Tennessee Back Porch" plays Saturday evening and "Temple Grey" rounds out the weekend on Sunday night.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Allegheny Crossing will play Americana music, traditional and patriotic well-known standards in the Betts Pavilion. Saturday's performance will hold an open mike, and everyone will be welcomed to join the band.
On Sunday afternoon, there will be a square dance before the evening concert, and a corn hole tournament.
Bates Brothers Amusements will provide rides for the midway, which will be set up behind the pavilion on the river side of the pavement. They will bring a large Ferris wheel, according to Swartz, and the rides will run Friday through Sunday.
Swartz said that there will be a children's area on the north side of the old runway with a disc jockey, activities and games, and tents for arts and crafts.
A perennial favorite, the cutest baby contest, will be held on Sunday.
She said the Eagle Dream Rehabilitation Center will bring birds of prey, and there may be a few other surprises.
The fireworks will be presented by Gibson Fireworks of Titusville on Saturday night, and on Sunday night DayStar Laser will provide a laser show for the grand finale to the weekend, she said.
Also on Sunday night, the drawing for a grand prize of $5,000 will take place. Swartz said there are over 30 other prizes, including cash and a bicycle.
Information on events and times, and forms to register for the parade, the veterans' unit, the corn hole tournament and vendor applications are available at www.warrrencountypajuly4th.com.
It is not strictly necessary for veterans to register to participate in the parade, but Swartz said they would like to have some idea of how many will participate.
She concluded with, "We need volunteers for organization, set-up, tear down, logistics and a number of other details." Contact Swartz at 730-9203 and she will put volunteers in contact with the necessary chairperson.