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Local Live Music Fireworks for Your July 4th Weekend!
July 1, 2011 - Jim Price
The area music scene will be busy setting off its own blend of fireworks throughout this 4th of July holiday weekend. And in at least a few events, musical fireworks will be capped by actual fireworks displays.
Two concerts in the Altoona area will ring in the 4th weekend on Friday night. The second annual Ballpark Block Party at Blair County Ballpark will provide live music, contests, games, food and refreshments, and a show-ending fireworks display. Taking the stage will be Reading-based singer/songwriter Eric Reitz, along with area band favorites Ganister, Saving Jake and Hello, Vixen. The music will start around 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under; and can be purchased in advance or at the gate.
Meanwhile, music will also usher in the 4th holiday weekend at downtown Altoona’s Heritage Plaza Friday evening with the Blair County Community Action Agency’s annual “Picnic on the Plaza” event, which begins at 6 p.m. The Front, Felix & the Hurricanes, Big Mac & the Fries and Red White & Blues will provide the music. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Admission is free, and those attending are invited to bring along their lawn chairs.
Altoona’s Lakemont Park will provide live entertainment on Saturday, Sunday and July 4 Monday night during their annual Independence Day Weekend Celebration. Felix & the Hurricanes perform Saturday night, Half Tempted on Sunday night, and R2B2 performs Monday night; with fireworks following the music each night. Admission to the park is $10, which includes rides, slides, free miniature golf and free Coca Cola in a special souvenir cup.
If you haven’t been spending enough quality time in Beaverdale lately, you have a reason to do so on Saturday night. The annual Beaverfest, sponsored by the Beaverdale Fire Company, will take place on the fire company’s festival grounds. Beaverfest will feature food, refreshments, games and children’s activities, plus live music from Johnstown dance-rock favorites Ribbon Grass starting at 8:30 p.m.
The musical action shifts to Patton Park in Patton on Sunday, as the Patton Park Music Fest provides day-long live music, food, fun and fireworks; while raising funds for Patton Park and Library. The music will start at 12 noon, and feature performances from Synergy, White Shadow, the Elvis Lives Band, acoustic duo Rob & Scott, the Beatlemaniacs, a Woodstock tribute and Highway Divide. A karaoke contest will take place beginning at 7:30 p.m., followed by Patton’s large fireworks display after 9 p.m. Admission to the Music Fest is free, and donations will be accepted.
And on Monday, Independence Day, State College presents the annual 4th Fest celebration, sponsored by the nonprofit Central Pennsylvania July 4, Inc. This year’s 4th Fest will feature a 4K race, activities, food and refreshments, and live music on three stages throughout State College. Beaver Stadium musical entertainment includes Skytop Blues, Chosen, Mysterytrain, Cliff Turner R&B Soul Revue, Overhead, State College Area High School Rock Ensemble, State College Municipal Band and ESP. Performers on the Founders Mall stage will include The Sveltones, Chris Good, Joe Quick, the Dime Store Cowboys, Mia Mania unplugged, Bob Timney and Tommy Wareham. And the Towne Square stage will feature performances by A Day Awaits, Riley Roth, Hounds Of Soul, Tir Na Nog Dancers, Black Coffee, magic with Graham Spanier, and AC Express. The day will be capped with a huge fireworks display and a street dance with Happy Valley band favorites Velveeta at 10:15 p.m. Admission to 4th Fest is free, but a $10 donation is requested for event parking.
Also on Monday night, Dakota Rose will help kick off the annual Cresson Fireman’s Carnival in downtown Cresson. Their performance starts at 8 p.m.
And the area nightspots will provide live music activity over the 4th of July weekend as well. Performing on Altoona area stages Friday night will be Wild Guess at 30 Something, Acoustic Mayhem at Burgi’s Roundhouse (early) and Bodacious B at Zach’s. Nearby, the Barrelhouse Ramblers entertain at Blue Knob Clubhouse at Blue Knob Ski Resort, Felix & the Hurricanes entertain at the Iron Horse Bar & Grill in Gallitzin, and the bands Mindspine, It Is Written and Bent will rock the house at The Arena in State College.
Saturday’s Altoona nightspot live music slate includes Sheldon Port & Friends at 30 Something, Rapid Fire at Pellegrine’s, Rain Must Fall at Club Coconuts and Hello, Vixen at the 4D’s Lounge. Nearby, Sunset Strip caps the “Night Train Ride for Steve-O” motorcycle run event at Glenn’s Place in Claysburg, Represent The Lie rocks Magoo’s in Cresson, Shades Of June parties down at Yesterday’s Party in Ebensburg, Mindspine and Lost Factory rock the Osceola Hotel in Osceola Mills, The Chi reunites at the Windber Hotel in Windber, and Rust entertains at Mad Hatters in St. Boniface.
Sunday night, Emily’s Toybox brings their rock and craziness back to Pellegrine’s in Altoona, Flight 19 rocks in the 4th at the Belmar Hotel, and Felix & the Hurricanes stage their weekly shindig at Shaw’s Bar in Juniata.
Needless to say, there are a lot of live music options available on this July 4 holiday weekend. Pick one or several, and support live music so it continues to happen here in central Pennsylvania.
Chris Vipond & the Stanley Street Band entertain at last year's Ballpark Block Party at Blair County Ballpark, as neighboring Lakemont Park sets off their July 4 fireworks.