People planning to attend the City of Williamsport's 15th annual "Set the Night to Music Fireworks Celebration" Sunday will have to watch the fireworks from somewhere other than the RiverWalk.
Although the RiverWalk in South Williamsport will be open, a section in the city will be closed from Market Street to the pump station near Hepburn Street from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, said Mark Murawski, county transportation planner.
"It's a logistical thing, where we want to limit the chances of anyone getting hurt," Murawski said.
Eric Styers of Mill Hall, left, sells fireworks to Ellen Baker and her son Alex, 8, and Conner Laudenslager, 11 of Williamsport at TNT Fireworks at the Giant Plaza Monday.
Sponsored by the city and Backyard Broadcasting, the event is expected to draw hundreds of people and will feature a dozen bands, dozens of food and craft vendors and a fireworks display at 9:40 p.m.
The celebration begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, with the raising of the American flag by Allison Crane and Rigging with help of the Young Marines and Sgt. 1st Class Chris Lownes of the Army National Guard.
The flag used for the celebration is the largest flying American flag in the country, said Dan Farr of Backyard Broadcasting. The stars on the flag are 4 foot across.
Fireworks safety tips
By Jersey Shore Hospital Staff
Special to the Sun-Gazette
Summertime is in full swing, and that means it's time for fireworks.
Fireworks are an American tradition that can provide your friends and families with hours of wholesome entertainment. However, it is extremely important to know and understand firework safety and awareness because it is the best way to protect you and others from injuries due to fireworks.
Following are some valuable tips to help keep you, your friends and family safe during the summer months:
Never let children handle fireworks. Only adults should handle fireworks. Do not let children play, light, or handle fireworks at any time.
Do not drink alcohol and light fireworks. Adults who are coherent and aware of their surroundings should handle fireworks. If you are consuming alcohol, please get a designated "lighter" to handle the fireworks.
Follow state and community laws regarding fireworks. You should always follow local and state laws when handling fireworks. Use your common sense. Do not use illegal fireworks as they dramatically increase the risk of injury.
Light fireworks in an open, clear area on a hard surface. Do not light fireworks in the grass or gravel. Use a hard surface such as a piece of plywood. Before lighting, make sure the audience is a safe distance away from the fireworks and that there is nothing around that could potentially catch on fire.
Keep clear of the fireworks. Never light fireworks with any body part over the firework. After lighting, quickly retreat to a safe distance away to ensure your safety.
Use care when lighting fireworks. Never use a match or lighter. Use an extended butane lighting device, such as a phantom pyro-torch, a punk or a flare.
Only one at a time. Only light one firework at a time. This will allow you to keep better track of your surroundings and resolve any problems that may occur.
Have water close by. Have a bucket of water, hose, and fire extinguisher near by. Designate someone to be the fireman in case of an emergency.
Do not use malfunctioning or "dud" fireworks. Malfunctioning or "dud" fireworks should never be re-lighted again. Place them into a bucket of water to ensure that they are safe to dispose of properly.
Windy conditions. Be very careful when lighting fireworks in windy conditions. Make sure you light with the wind, but away from audiences and other potential hazards.
Safety glasses. Always where safety glasses when lighting fireworks.
Storage of fireworks. If you need to store fireworks, do so in a cool, dry place and then dispose of them properly.
Purchase fireworks from a reliable dealer. Purchase fireworks from reliable, licensed firework dealers. Do not purchase illegal fireworks or attempt to make your own.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks this summer is to view public displays handled by professionals. If you choose to do your own display, please remember these tips to ensure everyone's safety.
From noon to 11 p.m., the area from Via Bella to West Third Street in the central business district will be closed to traffic to accommodate vendors. That includes William, Church, Pine and Market streets.
A dozen local rock, country and blues bands will take the stage at the Hampton Inn parking lot starting at 3 p.m.
The lineup includes Lumpy Gravy, R-Way, Miss Ida and the All Nightaz', Flu Shots, Uptown Music Collective, J.R. Scott, Skinny Rinkus, Leo Wheeland, Jack Huffman and Antique Babies.
Then leading up to the grand finale, the Market Street Bridge will be closed for nearly two hours to accommodate Young Explosives Co., Rochester, who will shoot off the fireworks. The Maynard Street Bridge will remain open.
Officials encourage people to get to their seats early to view the display.
"They should bring their chairs, blankets and umbrellas, depending on the weather and a radio as the celebration will be broadcast on the different radio stations," said Farr.
The fireworks will be set-off at 9:40 p.m. to patriotic music airing on FM channels WILQ 105.1, WZXR 99.3, WCXR 103.7 and WBZD 93.3.
A shuttle service will be available to take people to and from the city parking lots at Mulberry and Edwin streets, Mulberry Street and Washington Boulevard, Market and Edwin streets, Court and Pine streets, and the Fifth Street and Hepburn Street lots starting at 6 p.m. and will run every 10 minutes.
Handicapped parking will be available in the Third Street parking lot next to the Lycoming County Prison.
Pets, rollerblades, skateboards and bicycles as well as any type of fireworks are prohibited, according to the mayor's office.
The National Weather Service in State College is predicting clear skies for fireworks, following a mostly sunny holiday weekend with highs in the mid to upper 80s.
That should bode well for the downtown festivities, as well as other activities scheduled throughout the area this holiday weekend:
Start the weekend Saturday at the Williamsport Soap Box Derby. The event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Market Street hill from Brandon Park to Little League Boulevard.
The Borough of Montgomery will host a tractor pull and chicken barbecue starting at 11 a.m. Saturday and pig roast starting at 4 p.m. Fireworks will go off at dusk at the carnival grounds.
In Mansfield, the Lions Club will hold a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. After the parade, live music will perform at Smythe Park free of admission. Fireworks are scheduled at dusk.
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum will host its annual Bark Peelers Convention, between Galeton and Coudersport along Route 6 Saturday and Sunday. A fee will be charged. Activites will include greased pole, frog jumping, tobacco spitting, birling, fiddling, music, dancing and all kinds of food as well as celebrating the area's lumbering heritage. For more information, call 814-435-2652.
The Galeton Fire Department will hold its Red Suspender Weekend. A 5K run and a parade will be at 11 a.m. and fireworks at dusk. For more information, contact Andy Macensky 814-435-8101.
The Avis United Methodist Church, Park and Prospect streets in Avis, will honor all veterans at a service at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. The guest speaker will be Chaplain Maj. Max Furman, chaplain for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, who's served 27 years as a pastor and 17 years as a chaplain. He has completed a yearlong tour in Iraq and has been deployed to Bosnia as well as with Pennsylvania's response to Hurricane Katrina. All servicemen and women and their families are invited to the service.
St. Paul-Calvary United Methodist Church, 1427 Memorial Ave., will hold a Community Patriotic Celebration at 10:45 a.m. Sunday. The casual dress service will be under a tent in the side parking lot of the church and will include patriotic music, activities for children and recognition of those who have served in the military.
The Borough of Watsontown will host a parade and fireworks display on Monday. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Music, food, crafts and activities, including an annual horse shoe tournament and horse and pony rides, will be held in the borough municipal park following the parade. Billtown Blues Challenge winner Miz Ida and the All-Nightas will perform from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hot air tethered balloon rides will be from 5 to 7 p.m. The Johnny Jolin Band will perform from 6 to 7 p.m. and fireworks will begin at dusk.
The state Department of Transportation driver license and photo centers will be closed on Saturday and Monday in observance of Independence Day.