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July Fourth at heart of Leetsdale carnival

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

With about six weeks to go until Leetsdale's annual July Fourth festivities, organizers are hoping their $25,000 goal is reached.

This year's celebration includes a five-day-long carnival beginning July 1 and ending July 5 — with July 4 as the peak of activities, including a parade and fireworks, Fourth of July committee member Rob Cobourne said.

About half of the $25,000 is used for fireworks, with the remaining half set aside for parade expenses, music in the park and other costs, he said.

A donation push this month to corporate sponsors has brought in some money, but Cobourne said organizers are hoping donations will increase as the holiday nears.

“It's going typical to how it does at this point in the year,” Cobourne said.

Leetsdale has hosted a Fourth of July celebration since 1943.

“It's a great event (and) the community looks forward to it,” Cobourne said. “All of the members have a drive to keep improving on it.”

Planning for this year's event is ahead of last year's event, when organizers planned a slimmed-down celebration, Cobourne said.

A 5K event held in November and other fundraisers held since last July 4th have helped create buzz for the community's tradition, he said.

In addition, organizers have scheduled a bake sale for May 20 — during the primary — at the Leetsdale Borough building, committee member Mary Kay Dschuhan said.

Cobourne said organizers hope to continue the carnival — slated for July 1-5 — each year.

“We wanted to attempt it last year but the vendor couldn't do week of the fourth,” he said. “We found a vendor who could come every year the same week, so we could add this each year.”

But financial and volunteer support is necessary as the group relies on a small number of people to put on the festivities, Dschuhan said.

“For a small town, this is really a big deal for us,” she said. “This is the most important holiday we have in Leetsdale.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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