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Elizabeth gearing up for annual Riverfest

It's that time of year again.

Elizabeth borough's long-running Riverfest begins Friday.

Per usual, the event promises food, family fun, fireworks and, of course, lots of river-related stuff.

"We've got about 30 booths with a lot of fun and a lot of games," explained Elizabeth fire Chief Chad Rager, who said the emphasis this year continues to be on activities the whole family can enjoy.

"We want it to be a fun two nights without any trouble," said Rager, noting that local and Allegheny County police will be on duty for the event and that fire department volunteers will be acting as event staff, wearing bright green T-shirts.

Elizabeth Township Area EMS crews also will be on duty during the festival.

Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department took over management of the festival two years ago.

Stepped up security has been a key feature of the event since 2007 when an assault and several other criminal incidents took place during the two-day event.

Elizabeth and Allegheny County police and members of the fire department will work security for the event.

As usual, sternwheelers and all boats are welcome.

Cold beer will be sold and must be consumed in a designated area.

Participants in some of this year's events include Elizabeth Forward High School band and cheerleaders, Elizabeth Head Start and other local fire departments.

First responders from Elizabeth VFD and other local agencies will demonstrate swiftwater river rescue techniques on the river at 7 p.m. Saturday.

There will also be a petting zoo and inflatables for children plus craft events in the fire department bingo hall. Glassport Citizen's Hose Co. No. 1 will be providing fire truck rides to children.

Friday's schedule is as follows:

• Festival begins at 5 p.m.

• DJ music through the evening

• Dallas Marks Band performs at 8 p.m.

• Fireworks start at 10 p.m.

Saturday's schedule is as follows:

• Festival opens at 4 p.m.

• Parade starts at 5 p.m.

• DJ music through the evening

• The Boogie Hustlers perform at 8 p.m.

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