Photo courtesy of Peony Entertainment.

Point State Park
July 4
Noon — 10 p.m.

There are countless places to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday as a family around the region, but perhaps none as iconic as taking in all of the sights, sounds and spectacles at downtown’s scenic Point State Park.

Photo: Peony Entertainment
Photo: Peony Entertainment

Start your 4th fun at noon at the Fort Pitt Museum, with a special flag raising ceremony staged in front of the site’s historic Block House. Families will enjoy fife and drum performances, make-and-take arts and crafts activities, and rifle and musket demonstrations. At 5:30 p.m., 18th-century historic reenactors and special guests will lead a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Head into the Kids Zone to continue your celebration, with a slew of free events and activities offered from noon to 9 p.m. Kids can help paint a Celebrate America Mural, play interactive games, get airbrush tattoos, and have their faces painted. Need some patriotic bling? Show your July 4th pride as you make liberty hats, and red, white and blue streamer wands, bead bracelets and balloon sculptures.

Next, turn your smartphone, tablet or laptop into a collaborative electronic musical instrument with help from CEEMI and Fine Art Miracles, Inc. Don’t miss snapping a photo with Uncle Sam, who will be juggling and walking on stilts throughout the park.

A full lineup of live music and entertainment will be offered throughout the day. Headlining the main music stage at 8 p.m. will be Gary Racan and the Studio E Band, whose “Warriors Rock Concert” will incorporate recorded interviews with veterans into their live music. Additional performers include the East End Kids, Alumni Theater Company, Stampede, Gone South, Jimbo & the Soupbones, and Bon Journey.

Photo: Peony Entertainment.
Photo: Peony Entertainment.

The festival will also feature food vendors, sponsor exhibits, a military appreciation expo, bike valet services, and a flyover by the United States Air Force at 6 p.m.

The big finale is at 9:35 p.m. when Pittsburgh’s dramatic skyline will be illuminated by the colorful EQT Flashes of Freedom Fireworks show. Set off at the confluence of our three rivers, the dazzling display will be choreographed to a patriotic-themed soundtrack that can be heard throughout Point State Park and on KDKA 1020 AM. Considered one of the top 10 fireworks displays in the country, the show is produced by the award-winning New Castle, PA-based company, Pyrotecnico.

Open seating for the fireworks is first-come, first-served and is available at Point State Park and along the North Shore.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in July, Everything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in July, and our Top 10 things for families to do in July in Pittsburgh feature articles.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.