Williamsport’s 4th of July celebration returns after hiatus in 2020

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) — After many celebrations were forced to cancel during the pandemic, the fireworks are finally returning this 4th of July.

One community had very short notice to plan this year’s festivities.

Sunday is the city of Williamsport’s 26th Set the Night to Music 4th of July celebration. Last year’s was different because of COVID guidelines, but now they’re getting back to tradition.

2020’s fireworks were held at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville, but this year they can finally return home to Williamsport.

“Derek Slaughter, the mayor of Williamsport and Adam Winder the chief of the Bureau of Transportation did a lot of work with PennDOT to ensure that we could go back downtown,” Backyard Broadcasting operations manager Ted Minier said.

There will be live music, food, vendors and plenty of fireworks. The event will be just off I-80 by the Hampton Inn and the Market Street Bridge. Unlike past years, Backyard Broadcasting didn’t get several months for planning, and had to pull it all together within three weeks.

“You know we’re always working towards it and hoping for the best. And it took a lot of work. We have to close a lot of streets; we have to make sure the trains aren’t running. We work with the area municipalities with fire departments and police,” Minier said.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to come out Sunday. Mayor Slaughter says celebrations like this make him happy that the city is slowly getting back to normal.

“To see events return, to see, you know, folks get out and about again, you know at the restaurants, and you know, at the ball games and at the 4th of July celebration this weekend, you know it’s a good feeling,” Mayor Slaughter said.

Festivities kick off Sunday at 10 a.m. and will end around 10:30 p.m. For a complete schedule and information on road closures, visit www.visitcentralpa.org.

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