Vision

Since 1927, there has been a July 4th celebration here in Centre County and we want to make sure there is one each and every year. Last year, people witnessed what the Travel Channel has called “one of the best fireworks displays in the world”. And, a celebration like this only happens with a huge commitment of time, effort, and money.

The Central PA 4th Fest is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation with an all volunteer board and staff. With overall costs exceeding $200,000 we fund this through generous corporate and individual contributions. Please consider being a part of this star-spangled event.

Mission

Central Pennsylvania July 4, Inc. is a non-profit organization comprised of a team of volunteers and sponsors dedicated to celebrating America’s independence with a day of family fun and the best all-volunteer fireworks display in the nation. Volunteers are dedicated to work year-round and organize what has traditionally been a patriotic, family oriented event designed to serve local businesses and residents of Central Pennsylvania.

Central PA July 4th, Inc.
Central Pennsylvania 4th Fest
PO Box 11122
State College, PA 16805-1122

History

Saluting Our Independence for over 75 Years… the History of Central Pa’s Fourth of July Festival.

Fourth of July celebrations in the State College area go back to 1927, when the Alpha Fire Company first put on a carnival. For the next 50 years, the Alpha carnival and parade were major events on the community’s calendar. However, by the 1970s, increasing demands on the Alphas’ all-volunteer force left firefighters with no time to produce a Fourth of July celebration.

So, in 1978, the State College Sunrise Kiwanis Club took on the 4th of July celebration, presenting through the 1980s a modest firework show at the current site near Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus.

In 1991 Sunrise Kiwanis passed the torch to WZWW Radio and United Federal Bank. From that partnership grew an outstanding event, produced by Dan Barker and his family for the community. The Great American 4th of July was especially notable for its use of computers to choreograph fireworks to music. By the start of the new century, the show was rated among the best in the world and had outgrown the ability of one family to organize and administer it.

In 2001, an independent, community-based group was formed to carry forward our 4th of July traditions. Central Pennsylvania July 4th, Inc., is a non-profit organization. Its Board of Directors includes community leaders in education, business, industry, medicine, public service and government. At the heart of the organization are its hundreds of volunteers, without whom this spectacular event would not be possible.

Please support their efforts as we join together in celebration of America’s independence!

1927

Alpha Fire Company carnival and parade

1978

State College Kiwanis Club celebration and fireworks

1991

The Great American 4th of July – WZWW Radio, United Federal Bank, Dan Barker Family

2001

Central PA 4thFest – Central Pennsylvania July 4th, Inc. non-profit organization