As the nation celebrates her 236th birthday, plan to watch fireworks, parades and attend events leading up to Independence Day on Wednesday and the days immediately after the holiday.
"Bigger and better than ever."
That's how Dan Farr, general manager of Backyard Broadcasting, described the 17th annual "Set the Night to Music Fireworks Extravaganza."
The radio station and the city are hosting the spectacular that draws thousands downtown to the Hampton Inn grounds and along William Street.
Activities take place from 3 to 10:45 p.m.
"We put more investment and time into this extravaganza than ever before to make it an unforgettable experience," Farr said.
The concourse will be brimming with vendors and the mood is expected to be patriotic.
Temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s, Farr said.
Earlier in the day the backdrop for the festivities will be one of the nation's largest American flags hoisted in place by the Army National Guard and the local detachment of Young Marines.
Fireworks will be handled by pyrotechnical professionals with Zambelli International Fireworks. The pyrotechnicians work closely with the radio stations, and music is choreographed to the brilliant display of light in the night sky.
Patriotic music will air on FM?stations WILQ, 105.1; WZXR, 99.3; WCXR, 103.7, and WBZD, 93.3.
The fireworks show begins at 9:40 p.m. and generally lasts about 20 minutes.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said he is proud to have the city host the extravaganza again.
The mayor said he considered it a family-fun event that includes hours of free entertainment, plus all kinds of foods, vendors with specialty items and crafters.
There also will be bands performing one after another, starting at 3 p.m.
The bands and their performance times include:
Uptown Music Collective 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Flipside 4 to 4:45 p.m.
Keith Randall Band 5 to 5:45 p.m.
Skinny Rinkus 6 to 6:45 p.m.
CAPPA Showcase 7 to 7:30 p.m.
The Corral 7:30 to 8:15 p.m.
Flu Shots 8:30 to 9:20 p.m.
Jack Huffman with the National Anthem 9:35 p.m.
Lumpy Gravy 10 to 10:45 p.m.
Also look for acoustic performances from J.R. Scott, Kristen & Blair, and Damon Shaheen with sound provided by Blast.
People visiting downtown and the event need to know the Carl E. Stotz Little League Memorial Bridge will be closed between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. for the fireworks activities. They also are advised that traffic will be extra heavy on the Maynard Street Bridge as the DuBoistown Bridge is closed and still under construction.
The Susquehanna River Walk will be closed from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. from Commerce Park to Maynard Street on the city side of the river.
Handicapped parking is on the first floor of the parking deck at Third and Church streets. River Valley Transit will offer free rides to the event. River Valley will also provide rides from city parking lots to the fireworks area from 6 through 10 p.m. every 10 minutes.
No pets, tents, bicycles or private fireworks will be allowed in the area where the extravaganza is taking place.