Ross community gets early start to holiday festivities

| Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 6:11 p.m.

Ross Township's annual Independence Day festivities are a little early this year – on Sunday – but still will celebrate freedom, family and fun.Highlights of the 16th annual event will include a car cruise, parade, family activities and fireworks."It's a great ... very inexpensive event for the family," said Pete Geis, the township's parks and recreation director.The celebration begins in the morning with the 10th annual CADD Club Car Cruise in the parking lot at North Hills Senior High School, 53 Rochester Road. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with early registration starting at 9 a.m. There's no admission for cruise spectators, and those entering a vehicle for the show will pay $10, which will benefit school's Computer Aided Drafting & Design Club, said Jim Cassandro, a technology-education teacher at the high school."Whatever type of car you have, we'll have a category for you," said Cassandro, 46, of West View.Spectators can expect all types of vehicles, including new, classic, custom, trucks and sport-utility vehicles, Cassandro said. Dash plaques will be available to the first 100 vehicles, and car owners will have a chance to win trophies in numerous cateogries, he said."Everybody should have a good chance of walking away with something," Cassandro said about cruise entrants.Judging by CADD Club students will take place at 1 p.m., Cassandro said.Cassandro said people participating in the car cruise may drive their cars in the Ross Township parade, which will begin at 4 p.m.For those who want to grab a good sidewalk spot, the parade will commence at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 920 Perry Highway, go north on Perry Highway and end at Lindley Lane, Geis said.The parade is scheduled to include the North Hills marching band and cheerleaders and vehicles from the township's fire departments.Drivers should note that Perry Highway will be closed from Rochester Road to Three Degree Road from 3 to 5 p.m. because of the paradeOnce the parade ends, the celebration continues at the park outside the Ross Township Community Center, located at 1000 Ross Municipal Drive, where there will be arts and crafts, face painting, a petting zoo, games and a refreshment stand, Geis said.In addition, he said, wrestling fans will have the chance to meet Ross resident Bruno Sammartino, best known for being the longest-running champion of the World Wide Wrestling Federation, along with the parade's grand marshal, Debbie Drodge Baumiller, Ms. Pennsylvania America 2012. She lives in Reserve Township and works in Ross.Classic rock band Kardaz will be playing most of the evening, said Geis, 41, of Ross.What is probably the most integral part of a good Independence Day celebration is a lively fireworks display, which will be presented by Pyrotecnico at about 9 p.m. Geis said the display always seems to please."We had excellent feedback from last year's," he said.The whole celebration is wrapped up with a family movie night. "The Adventures of Tintin," a 2011 movie directed by Steven Spielberg, will be shown in the park immediately after the fireworks, Geis said.People can park at the high school or in the Big Lots parking lot at 4717 McKnight Road and use shuttle service to get to and from the community center from 6 to 10 p.m., Geis said.

Festivities at a glance Ross Township's 16th annual Independence Day celebration will be Sunday.Events include:• The CADD Club Car Cruise from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with registration starting at 9 a.m., outside North Hills Senior High School, 53 Rochester Road.• A parade on Perry Highway that starts at 4 p.m.• Family activities starting at 5 p.m. at the park outside the Ross Township Community Center, 1000 Ross Municipal Drive.• Fireworks at about 9 p.m.• A movie in the park after the fireworks.People can park at the high school or in the Big Lots parking lot at 4717 McKnight Road and use shuttle service to get to and from the community center from 6 to 10 p.m.For more info, go to , and click on the "Parks and Recreation" link, the "Current Activities" link and the "2012 Spring-Summer Programs" link.

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