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4th of July Celebration lights up Allentown

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 04 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2013 05:33:28 AM CDT

4th of July Celebration lights up Allentown

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

People all over the Lehigh Valley celebrated the birth of our country.

In Allentown, there was a new twist to the annual Fourth of July celebration.

Organizers closed off Linden Street and held a street festival.

People say this was a better set-up and they hope the city keeps the 4th of July party in the streets.

Children played in the water and others flew down a gigantic slide.

This was not the typical Allentown 4th of July celebration.

"The dancing, the food," said Allentown resident Nadia Grant-Botchway. "I like it all so far."

"A lot more activities for the kids," added Alex Reeves, from Emmaus. "A lot more crowd because usually around 7:30 is when the last one gets packed in the original stadium."

People started showing up for the celebration around 3:00 in the afternoon.

Organizers moved outside of J. Birney Crum Stadium because the Allentown School District is replacing the field.

"People are free and enjoying themselves more than if they're looking for a seat, trying to save a seat," said Allentown resident Glenn Schantz.

"It's very much more interactive," said Tara Craig, special events manager for the city of Allentown. "We have some artists in action, stilt walkers, we have a mural where children and adults can take a paint brush and kind of create a big birthday card to America."

"I was looking at events to do in PA and we actually found this online," added Marita Ruiz, from the Bronx, NY. "We came down here and it seems to be going nice."

Organizers didn't disappoint longtime fans of the event either.

The skydivers were still here and, of course, the fireworks.

"The greatest fireworks," added Schantz.

Designers made the show for people sitting in the stadium or standing on the street.

Many say they can't wait until next year.

"My wife and I kind of knew about it, but I'm sure you could just see back and forth the amount of people circling into the area," said Reeves.