POTTSTOWN PA – Volunteers for the Pottstown GoFourth! Festival have raised about $35,000 toward a $55,000 goal to ensure what they called “a spectacular, old-fashioned fireworks display” July 4 (2019; Thursday) at 9:15 p.m. in Memorial Park on West King Street. The third annual night-time show is being created for the festival by International Fireworks of Douglassville PA.
Entirely funded by donations and sponsorships, and without taxpayer dollars, this year’s day-long GoFourth Festival will begin at 11:30 a.m., immediately following the Rotary Club-sponsored Independence Day parade that starts at 10:15 a.m. The event includes music, food, kids’ activities, and the July 4 celebration, “all rolled into one,” it said Monday (May 13).
“We cannot begin to fund this festival through bucket collections alone,” Co-Chairperson Amy Wolf said, adding that volunteers still are seeking two headlining fireworks sponsors of $10,000 each, “or one official and extraordinarily generous sponsor at $20,000.” Fireworks cost about $1,000 per minute, in addition to other costs such as security, permits, and traffic control.
“No Pottstown borough funds help to pay for this celebration,” Co-Chairperson Amy Francis emphasized. “It is completely funded by sponsorships and donations, made by businesses and individuals who want to offer our greater Pottstown community a fun, family-oriented event … a happening that showcases all the positive community spirit and amenities Pottstown has to offer.”
This year’s festivities will kick-off with the singing of the National Anthem by Jo Ann Bathurst at 11:30 a.m., followed by crowning of its 2019 Royal Court. Homecoming queens and kings from the Pottstown, Owen J. Roberts, Boyertown, and Spring-Ford school districts are encouraged to compete through fundraising to be named king and queen of the Pottstown GoFourth! Royal Court; the second-highest fundraisers will be named the prince and princess of the court.
Students are conducting their own fundraising drives through activities. All funds must be submitted by the end of the business day on June 28 (Friday) at VIST bank, 258 E. High St. All Royal Court competitors may appear in the July 4 parade. Winners also will receive two passes for VIP seating for the fireworks show, and a Pottstown GoFourth! Festival gift bag including an official Festival t-shirt.
Last year’s diverse, professional live entertainment was a real hit with those in attendance. This year’s line-up includes Anakai and the Grooveyard; AfroBear, presented by Montgomery County Community College; Stephanie Grace, presented by Pottstown Parks & Recreation; Hector Rosado & Orchestra Hache; and Funktion.
The festival is jam-packed with activities geared toward families, including the noon to 5 p.m. return appearance of “Grandpop Bubbles,” a performance artist who creates enormous bubbles to delight young and old alike. Grandpop Bubbles’ performance and all of the children’s activities for the day are being generously sponsored by ROG Orthodontics.
Other attractions will be inflatable rides and attractions, from noon to 8 p.m.:
- Rainbow the Clown face-painting artists from 1 to 5 p.m.;
- A “Rain Gutter Regatta” presented by Pottstown Cub Scout Packs 249 & 146 from 5-7 p.m. Community members interested in participating in the Rain Gutter Regatta should contact Raymond Rose at 484-366-7096;
- Local non-profit organizations will offer games, prizes, and giveaways; and
- The U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team will have a balloon launch of multiple balloons from the park around 6 p.m.
Food offerings have grown quickly. This year’s vendor fare will include pizza cones, Asian dumplings and rolls, BBQ, ice cream, Latin food, banana whip, and burritos. The popular Sly Fox Beer Tent also will return. There are still a few spaces left for food vendors.
This year’s featured community partner is The Colebrookdale Railroad. It will offer short runs from noon to 4 p.m. with ticket prices at $10 for adults and $5 for children, as well as a Fireworks Express Run at 7 p.m. starting at the railroad’s Boyertown station. Fireworks Express passengers will enjoy VIP seating for the fireworks display.
Pottstown GoFourth! is a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation operating under the 501 (c)(3) umbrella of the TriCounty Community Network, which manages all GoFourth! finances and reporting.
- Its top-level “gold sponsors” to date include Hobart’s Run, Precision Polymer, Reading Orthodontic Group, and Wolf, Baldwin & Associates.
- Silver sponsors include American Keg Company, Key Bank, O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei PC, Sager & Sager Associates, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, The Victory Bank, and Tompkins VIST Bank.
- Bronze sponsors include the American Heritage Credit Union, Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, PA Industrial Equipment, and PECO.
Area businesses and citizens can play a role in ensuring the success of this year’s all-volunteer led effort. Tax-deductible donations can be made by donating online at PottstownGoFourth.org, or by sending a check made payable to the TriCounty Community Network (TCN); donors should note “Attention: GoFourth” in the memo line on the check. Checks may be mailed to Pottstown GoFourth! Festival, PO Box 1362, Pottstown, PA 19464.
Graphic from the GoFourth! Festival