Pottstown's 4th to get early start Hot-air balloons, a Beatles cover band - and that's just the night before. These folks take their celebrations seriously.

Posted: July 01, 2001

POTTSTOWN — The Fourth of July is such a big deal in Pottstown that they take two days to celebrate it.

The celebration starts Tuesday evening at Memorial Park.

A "Balloon Glow" will offer tethered rides in hot air balloons at 6:30 p.m., and Beatlemania, a band that specializes in Beatles covers, will perform at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.

On Wednesday, festivities will start at 10:15 a.m. with a parade that will run from Keim and High Streets to High and Hanover Streets, where the new Borough Hall stands.

A color guard, marching bands, colonial dancers, police and fire vehicles, floats and restored antique music boxes will be featured in the parade.

A special entry this year will be a huge cake decorated with flags and candles that will signal the town's 250th anniversary celebration next year, recreation director John Reber said.

Reber is cochairman of the Fourth of July Committee. Bill Krause is the other cochairman.

The Grand Old Flag 10K run will begin just before the parade.

Runners will start at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center at 10 a.m. and run just ahead of the parade along the parade route, Reber said.

After the parade, there will be a host of activities at Memorial Park, including food vendors, a baby contest, a craft show and flea market, games, military reenactments and demonstrations of control-line airplanes by the Flying Dutchmen, a club of aviation enthusiasts.

Little League baseball games will be held until 7 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m., there will be a hot-air balloon "Takeoff" in the park. Fireworks will follow at 9:30.

The Fourth of July Committee raises $40,000 to $50,000 every year for the celebration, Reber said.

About 50,000 people participate in one or more activities, he said.

Next year's anniversary celebration is expected to be even bigger than usual, Reber said.

Planners hope to make it a four-day event with a genealogy conference, a children's day, an antique-car show and a game-show theme.

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