June 24, 2013
Free Family Fun Highlights Brownsville's
Traditional July 3 Fireworks Gala
BROWNSVILLE, Pa. – Offering an evening of free family fun, the Greater Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce will once again light the skies July 3 with one of the largest pyrotechnics displays in the area.
"For a small community, we have an excellent fireworks show," says Frank Ricco, chamber president. "It's not as large or long as Pittsburgh's show, but we always have 25 minutes of continuous fireworks to awe the crowd."
The July 3 fireworks gala is staged at Patsy Hillman Park, located at 100 Hillman Park Dr. in Luzerne Township. The opening ceremony begins at 5 p.m. with a presentation of colors and the raising of the American flag by Boy Scout Troop 650. Brownsville's Girl Scout Troop 51063 also will be in attendance.
Immediately following the flag-raising, the focus will shift to Hillman Pavilion, where the audience will be treated to music and dance performances showcasing Brownsville Area High School's talent from Stars on Stage, a competition sponsored by the local chapter of Rotary International. After the warm-up acts, the Mon Valley Community Band will march into the spotlight to entertain the crowd with patriotic tunes until dusk when the pyrotechnics show begins. Solely funded by the chamber, the fireworks show is produced each year by Keystone Fireworks & Specialty Sales Co. Inc. of Dunbar, Pa.
The Independence Day fireworks show has evolved into a family tradition for residents of Brownsville and surrounding communities. For two consecutive years, the show and line-up of family-oriented activities have drawn more than 2,000 people to the 467-acre park, some arriving well in advance of the opening ceremony to picnic, fish in the stocked lake and secure a front-row seat for the fireworks display.
"I think everybody still enjoys fireworks, especially the children," Ricco says. "Our show is fun and it's free."
The chamber tradition was started more than 20 years ago by Jackie and Bob Bevard, chamber members
and former owners of the Sunoco A Plus Mini-Market at 595 High St.
"It drew a crowd the first year and continues to grow each year. The community support of this event has been outstanding," Ricco adds.
The Brownsville Rotary Club's crowd-pleasing favorite – the bounce house – will again be set up for the children. A nominal fee will be charged for the jump time. The activity is underwritten by local businessman Bill Jones of Senoj Enterprises .
"Our sincere thanks to Bill Jones for his generous support," says Rotary officer Eadi Zetty.
Also, Rotary will sell "red, white and blue" merchandise and a ticket on a chance to win a five passes for Kennywood Day and $100 in cash.
The July 3 children's activities will include free face painting, spearheaded by Sabina Shirley from the Brownsville Parking Authority. Goodwill donations will be accepted by the face painters, who are donating time and supplies to provide the activity.
Operating the park's concession stand will be Hiller Volunteer Fire Co.'s ladies auxiliary, which uses the proceeds to fund ongoing activities.
Also this year, WMBS 590AM radio station will broadcast live from the park from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Funded by a grant from the Fayette County hotel tax, the broadcast is sponsored by Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp., which hosts its members-only picnic during the chamber's community event.
The chamber funds the Independence Day fireworks display through two ticket sales in late spring and early summer, offering an $8,000 jackpot to the winner of Pennsylvania Lottery's 3-digit daily number at 7 p.m. In keeping with tradition, the second drawing is July 4. Tickets can be purchased at Brownsville Bus Lines, 525 National Pike East; NAPA Auto Parts, 600 Market St.; Brownsville Hardware, 6027 National Pike; Phil Giannetti Motors Inc., 656 National Pike E.; and the chamber office, 325 Market St. Also, chamber members will be manning the gates to accept freewill donations, with proceeds helping to defray the cost of the July 3 fireworks. Volunteer firemen from North, South and West Brownsville and Hiller will be in charge of traffic control.
For additional information or interview:
Frank R. Ricco, chamber president, 724-785-3600