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Williamsport’s July 4th ‘Set the Night to Music’ expected to be huge

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO A firework explodes on July 4 during the Set the Night to Music Fireworks Extravaganza. SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

It’s almost time for the much-anticipated 29th Annual “Set the Night to Music” in Williamsport.

What arguably is among the largest and longest display of fireworks in Northcentral Pennsylvania, other than one that occurs each year at the annual Lycoming County Fair, is being planned by various business sponsors and the City of Williamsport.

The event features many vendors selling food and artists featuring their speciality arts and crafts.

It all takes place on Monday, starting early at 10 a.m. with the patriotic raising and flying of the world’s largest American flag.

Once again, the solemn raising of the largest American flag by Allison Crane & Rigging and Heavy Haul is at 10 a.m. It is especially important to honor all of the military veterans serving in all six branches of the Armed Forces, and for those who served before. Typically, members of the military and associated groups such as the Young Marines Williamsport Detachment take part.

The nation celebrates its 246th birthday since the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

The red, white and blue flag can be seen for miles in any direction and throughout the day, as event participants set up and prepare for the crowds some individuals enjoy putting out a lawn chair, catching some rays and watching the flag wave in whatever breezes blow that morning and afternoon.

Independence Day weather is too soon to determine as of time of this story, but on average, temperature is about 87 degrees and it gets warmer on the black top parking lot and streets, so it’s a good idea to be hydrated and wear sunscreen and protective covering.

Emergency medical technicians and personnel are at the scene in case of any heat-related emergencies.

From 3 p.m. until the time of the performing of the National Anthem about 9:30 p.m., live bands hit the stage outside of the Hampton Inn.

The music kicks-off with The Uptown Music Collecting at 3 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. The following bands then take part: A-Team (4:10 to 4:50 p.m.), Raising Kane (5:20 to 6 p.m.), Rocky Allen (6:30 to 7:10 p.m.), Last Rebels (7:40 to 8:20 p.m.), Flu-Shots (8:50 to 9:30 p.m.)

The National Anthem will be performed by “Achording to Dad” and precede the spectacular fireworks display.

This event, and its main sponsors including the stations of Backyard Broadcasting, the city of Williamsport and UPMC, is one that is spectacular whether viewing it on watercraft floating in the West Branch of the Susquehanna or on land as the night sky lights up with a thunderous show timed with music on the Backyard Broadcasting stations.

That is the culmination, however, of a day filled with fun, food and a festival enabling local artists and crafters to showcase their talent and locals to support them by purchasing their product lines.

Hampton Inn parking lot closes off, as does William Street for the food vendors and crafters. River Valley Transit bus service provides free access to the site from most of the downtown parking areas and bus stops and picks up and drops off about every 10 minutes. Stops are typically at Mulberry and Edwin streets, Mulberry Street and Washington Boulevard, Market and Edwin streets, Fifth Street parking lot, Hepburn Street Plaza and Court and Pine streets.

The parking deck has a lower level accessible parking area.

The state Fish and Game Commission will be on the water watching for any illegal boating activities, such as boating while under the influence of intoxicants, and keeping all watercraft off the river 1,000 feet east and west of the Market Street bridge.

The Susquehanna River Walk also closes down at 7:30 a.m. Monday through 7:30 a.m. Tuesday from Commerce Park to Maynard Street, with some restrictions due to safety concerns on the South Williamsport side.

The food, craft and music is what this event is all about and police and emergency personnel will be on hand to ensure it is a safe and medically safe event with officials able to provide law enforcement control needs and emergency medical service at the site.

As usual, sponsors ask everyone to enjoy themselves, celebrating the nation’s birthday and note that it is prohibited to bring any pets, set up any tents, ride bicycles or skateboards and bring any private fireworks onto the event site.

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