4-H presents free fireworks Saturday

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — Fireworks will light up the night sky for the 32nd year at the Northern Virginia 4-H Club's annual Independence Day celebration.

The free firework show begins 9 p.m. Saturday at the 4-H Clubís location off Harmony Hollow Road. The show will be put on by one of the countryís largest pyrotechnic firms, according to 4-H Development Director Tom Benjamin.

The fireworks will be launched atop a nearby mountain and travel about 800 feet skyward, Benjamin said. About 600 fireworks will be used, and the finale
will include a barrage of more than 200.

Nearly 5,000 attendees are expected, which gives rise to the eventís only predicament: traffic.

"If you try to put 2,000 cars up Harmony Hollow Road; that's our big concern," Benjamin said. "What we tell everybody is just have some patience — eventually, you will all get out of there," Benjamin said.

While there are other fireworks shows in the area, the 4-H Club provides the only local free option, Benjamin said. The night is funded through the previous yearís donations, and to keep the event free, 4-H needs to raise about $10,000.

"The reason it's free is because we rely on donations to keep it that way," Benjamin said. "If you can afford it, make a donation to help us keep this free for next year."

Fireworks are only part of the event, which is set to start at 4 p.m. There will also be face painting, 10 food trucks, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, and five musical performances. A small fee will be charged only for the pony rides and bounce house.

The American Legion Community Band will continue its tradition of performing at the event every year.

Late-night swims will also be available in the 4-H pool for $3 per person, Benjamin said.

A beer garden will be a new addition, which will serve two ìoff the shelfî beers and a hard cider, Benjamin said. A portion of the beer sales will be donated to the Salvation Army.

"I know where I'm going to find myself about halfway through the show," he said.

The night would not be possible without the participation of about 30 volunteers, who will assist in setting up the myriad of activities. Benjamin thanked the community for its continued support, and said the whole family could enjoy the night.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for a family celebration, to celebrate our freedoms and to have a good," Benjamin said.

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