Fourth of July weekend begins with First Friday in downtown Oxford
By Steven Hoffman
The Fourth of July weekend with be extra festive this year, with the First Friday event in downtown Oxford kicking things off Friday evening and the popular Freedom Fest in Nottingham highlighting the holiday weekend.
In addition to the music, food, and art that are staples of every First Friday throughout the year, the July 3 event will be highlighted by a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition to the Oxford Public Library that is planned for 6 p.m. The ribbon-cutting is taking place just eight months after the groundbreaking ceremony for the $1.3 million expansion that transformed the look of the library and added about 4,000 square feet of space.
Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. is also planning a celebrity bike race that will include town officials, business owners, and other well-known citizens in the area. A few of the people expected to participate include Geoff Henry, the mayor of Oxford, Betsy Brantner, the borough manager, Melissa Sheerin, owner at Odds & Ends, and Donna Hosler, the executive director of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc.
Jerome Rodio, the owner of J & K Slightly Touched, said that he and the contestants in the celebrity bike race will be wearing their most patriotic clothes for the race.
Another event with a patriotic theme will be the kids' patriotic bicycle-decorating contest, where children are invited to decorate their bikes in red, white, and blue.
The entries in the bicycle-decorating contest will be judged by the celebrity racers at 5:15 p.m. Then, at 5:25 p.m., the kids will be able to parade their decorated bicycles. The parade begins at the corner of Third & Locust Street.
On Saturday, the 24th annual FreedomFest takes place at Nottingham County Park from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event includes food vendors, activities for children, live music, and a spectacular fireworks display that begins at approximately 9:30 p.m.
This year, Green Tea Revival returns to the Freedom Fest stage with their unique brand of contemporary and classic country music. Lancaster, Pa. native Jess Zimmerman is the lead singer of the band, and is joined by band leader and keyboardist “Country” Joe Liptock, who is also a vocalist. The bass player is Tom Fante. Guitarist Joe Barszowski and drummer Jim Knobler round out the band.
The fireworks display lasts about a half an hour. The grand finale will once again be the traditional raising of the American Flag.
There is no admission fee to Freedom Fest, but there is a $10 per vehicle parking fee at Nottingham County Park and the Herr Foods Corporate Center. Parking gates open at 6 p.m.
More information about the First Friday event can be found at www.downtownoxfordpa.org.
For more information about Freedom Fest, including activities, event facts, road restrictions, and parking areas, contact Nottingham County Park at 610-932-2589 or visit www.chesco.org/ccparks.
The Official 2015 Freedom Fest Guide