This year’s Central Pa. 4th Fest is going to be a little more musical.
Organizers are partnering with the Happy Valley Jam, happening just a few days after Tuesday’s 4th Fest, to bring a national musical act to the Independence Day celebration for the first time. That headliner is country singer Adley Stump, a former contestant on “The Voice” and winner of a Grammy Amplifier award for new artists in 2016.
Stump was part of Blake Shelton’s team on “The Voice” and continues to work with him. Both Shelton and Stump will perform at Happy Valley Jam on July 8 at Beaver Stadium.
Karl Libhart, executive director of 4th Fest, said organizers are trying to broaden the event’s appeal by focusing on more than just fireworks.
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“We’ve really stepped up our music entertainment this year with better acts and some acts from out of town,” Libhart said. “We are cross promoting with Happy Valley Jam in several ways and we hope that she (Adley Stump) will draw some people from out of town who wouldn’t normally come up.”
Other musical acts on tap for 4th Fest this year include local favorites Velveeta, Tommy Wareham and Jackie Brown and the Gill Street Band. They will be split among three stages surrounding the Bryce Jordan Center and conclude in time for fireworks to begin at 9 p.m.
Outside of music, the State College Area Roller Derby will hold the Red, White and Bruise scrimmage for the first time this year. And the BMX bike demonstration will be back by popular demand, Libhart said.
Libhart said that the changes for this year have not gotten in the way of 4th Fest favorites like the America’s Got Heroes Parade, hot dog booth and giant U.S. flag birthday cake. The fireworks themselves have also gotten a makeover with new choreography and an updated sound system in the VIP viewing area.
“We try to keep it so that people can come back and enjoy what they’ve enjoyed before but also see the new things we’re adding,” Libhart said.
For a full schedule of 4th Fest events, visit www.4thfest.org