POTTSTOWN — Volunteers have raised about $35,000 toward a $55,000 goal that will ensure a spectacular, old-fashioned fireworks display by International Fireworks of Douglassville at 9:15 p.m. in Memorial Park on Thursday, July 4, as part of the Third Annual Pottstown GoFourth! Festival.
The Pottstown GoFourth! Festival is many festivals — a music festival, a food festival, a kid’s festival and a 4th of July festival — all rolled into one giant festival!
Entirely funded by donations and sponsorships, without a penny of taxpayer dollars, this year’s GoFourth Festival will begin at 11:30 a.m., immediately after the Rotary Club-sponsored July 4 parade beginning at 10:15 a.m.
Fireworks cost about $1,000 per minute in addition to ancillary costs such as security costs, permits, and traffic control.
“We cannot begin to fund this festival through bucket collections alone,” says co-chairperson Amy Wolf, adding that the volunteers still are seeking two headlining fireworks sponsors of $10,000 each (or one official and extraordinarily generous sponsor at $20,000).
This year’s festivities will be kicked-off with the singing of the National Anthem by Jo Ann Bathurst at 11:30 a.m., immediately followed by the crowning of the 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 – and the second-highest fundraisers will be named the Prince and Princess of the Court.
Students are conducting their own fundraising drives through activities that may include collection cans at local venues, a car wash, bake sale, and so forth. All funds must be submitted by the end of the business day on Friday, June 28, at VIST bank, 258 E. High Street, Pottstown.
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 attendees. 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.; and 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 please contact Raymond Rose at 484-366-7096.
In addition, local non-profit organizations will offer games, prizes, and giveaways.
The U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team will have a balloon launch of multiple balloons from the park around 6 p.m.
The all-important food offerings have grown quickly, and this year the vendor fare will include pizza cones, Asian dumplings and rolls, BBQ, ice cream, Latin food, banana whip, burritos, and more. The popular Sly Fox Beer Tent also will return. There are still a few spaces left for food vendors. For more information please visit: www.pottstowngofourth.com/vendor-apps.
This year’s Featured Community Partner is The Colebrookdale Railroad, which will offer short runs from noon – 4 p.m. (adults $10/children $5) and a Fireworks Express Run at 7 p.m. starting at the Colebrookdale Railroad Boyertown Station. Fireworks Express passengers will enjoy VIP seating for the fireworks display. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.colebrookdale.com.
The 2019 Pottstown GoFourth! Festival would like to recognize the following top-level sponsors to-date: Gold sponsors include (in alphabetical order), 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.
The Pottstown GoFourth! organization 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. Co-Chairperson Amy Francis emphasizes that not a penny of taxpayer money supports the July 4 festivities, which is why fundraising is so essential.
“No Pottstown Borough funds help to pay for this celebration,” Francis said. “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.”
Parties interested in marching or driving in the Pottstown Rotary Club July 4th parade should contact email@example.com as soon as possible to register. There is a modest registration fee that will cover traffic control and other related expenses.
The parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. at High and Adams Streets and continue west to Manatawny Street — and participants as well as spectators will be encouraged to continue on to the King Street entrance of Memorial Park to participate in the GoFourth! Festival.
The Rotary Club also will hold its 27th Annual Duck Race on Manatawny Creek the afternoon of July 4, with a 4 p.m. duck launch. By selling duck sponsorships, the Rotary will benefit charities in the greater Pottstown area – including Pottstown GoFourth. To purchase a Rotary duck, go to pottstownrotary.org or purchase a duck at the GoFourth festival on July 4; to make a parade contribution, please send a tax-deductible donation to the Pottstown Rotary Community Endowment Fund (PRCEF) via P.O. Box 227, Pottstown, PA. 19464.
Pottstown GoFourth! Festival also will sell 2019 duck ticket and Pottstown GoFourth! Festival merchandise, including newly designed collectable Pottstown GoFourth! Festival baseball caps (while limited supplies last), at the Pottstown and Douglassville Redner's markets on Sunday, June 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday June 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Putting on a community festival of this size takes a village! To volunteer with festival set-up (July 3), during the festival, and/or festival break-down (July 5) please visit www.pottstowngofourth.com/volunteer.
Area businesses and citizens play a vital role in ensuring the success of this year’s all- volunteer led effort to throw a spectacular July 4 event for the community and guests.
Tax-deductible donations can be made by donating online at PottstownGoFourth.com, 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.
Businesses or individuals may sponsor various entertainment providers and activities – and in exchange they will receive outstanding publicity and other benefits including (for upper level sponsors) preferred seating during the fireworks display.
Similarly, quality arts and crafts vendors will feature their wares, but additional artisans are encouraged to participate. Again, the PottstownGoFourth.com website provides relevant information. Vendor applications can be found at: www.pottstowngofourth.com/vendor-apps.
Friends of Pottstown GoFourth! Festival can purchase GoFourth! merchandise, including the popular hats, which always sell out quickly, at https://www.pottstowngofourth.com/gofourthgear while supplies last.
(While there is not a rain date for the entire festival, the rain date for fireworks only will be July 7.)