Balloons accompany parade, pie contest returns to 4th Fest

In addition to soldiers, volunteers and students, the second annual Parade of Heroes during Thursday’s Central PA 4th Fest will feature a handful of helium balloons.

The balloons will include patriotic and athletic themes, but 4th Fest Executive Director Bernie Keisling said he couldn’t give specific details away.

The largest balloon, Keisling said, is 55 feet tall and will take 24 people to operate.

“Some of these balloons are like something you’d see at a Macy’s parade,” Keisling said.

Keisling said 4th Fest is bringing back the pie-baking contest at 3:30 p.m. at Towne Square. Registration will continue Thursday.

“It’s something we haven’t had in a while, but yes, a very tasty event,” Keisling said.

And to keep the food theme going, Giant Food Stores will provide the traditional American flag cake free to the public. Keisling said the cake is 14 feet long and will offer 1,400 slices starting at 6 p.m.

After the fireworks show, a street dance will be held at the Towne Square stage. Chris Vipond & the Stanley Street Band will play for at least 45 minutes, Keisling said.

“It’s as simple as that,” Keisling said. “You get to hear a good band and let loose.”

Safety is another central theme, Keisling said.

“Safety is a big one. It’s meant to be an alcohol-free, family friendly event,” Keisling said.

He said people are restricted from bringing their own fireworks to the fest.

“We have enough, we don’t need anyone to bring their own,” he said.

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