Brentwood promises another bang-up July 4 celebration

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Preparations for one of the biggest events in the South Hills has been underway for some time, as volunteers organize Brentwood's July 4 celebration.

The parade along Brownsville Road can attract up to 40,000 people.

Last year, the community's emergency medical service was overwhelmed with calls of heat exhaustion, Brentwood EMS operations supervisor John Balkovec said.

The service received 20 to 30 calls about people who passed out in the 90-degree weather last year. If the attendance is close to last year's, Balkovec said, extra precautions might be needed, such as using the county's emergency plan, which would bring in ambulances from the City of Pittsburgh.

“If we're in the same situation, it's going to be pressing the button, and they'll get us additional units,” he said.

One change this year will be the fireworks launch location.

Because of improvements underway at Brentwood Park, the fireworks will go off from higher terrain at Tepsic Field, where Radisson Street and Dailey Road meet.

The heightened elevation and changes in regulation tube diameter will allow for the fireworks' colors to go farther than in past years.

“It's probably going to be a bigger show. People are going to be able to see it better,” said Councilman John Frombach, who is in charge of the fireworks and parade.

Even with some changes in procedure, the festival is sure to have the same feel its always had, Frombach said.

“It truly is an American tradition, in a small-town way, of celebrating our independence,” said Frombach, adding that residents who move away also enjoy returning for the holiday.

“It becomes somewhat of a homecoming for people, too,” he said.

The fireworks production and parade cost about $25,000, Frombach said, all of which is raised via fundraisers.

Borough officials seek volunteers to help with tasks such as setting up for the 30th annual 5K, lining up marching groups for the parade and selling raffle tickets.

To volunteer or to get information on the festival or how to include a float in the parade, call Frombach at 412-956-3940 or email jwfromback@comcast.net.

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