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Independence Day Celebration on tap in Whitehall

| Thursday, June 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

They line the nearby parking lots, streets and front lawns en masse.

Sitting in folding chairs, on the hatch of their cars or on the curb, many spend all day waiting for the kettle corn, dance performances, music blasting over the loud speakers and especially those Caste Village fireworks that light up the night sky.

“This is the biggest event in Whitehall Borough each year,” said Kelly Joyce, marketing director for Princess Lanes and Caste Village.

“Families and kids wait for this to come all year. It's just such a fun family event.”

The annual Independence Day Celebration at Caste Village draws more than 20,0000 people each year, organizers estimate.

This year the event, which includes fireworks, food vendors, live music and entertainment will be held Friday at the Caste Village Shoppes, starting at 6 p.m.

“People start camping out very early for this,” Joyce said. “Some people literally spend all day there. They eat at the restaurant, they cook out on their grills and they hang out with their friends and wait for the fireworks.”

Businesses in the shopping center hold sidewalk sales the day of the event, Joyce said.

Many of the old staples, including the food vendors, airbrush tattoo artists, caricaturists and games will return this year. New to the schedule is a performance by “School of Glee,” a modern-style choir started by Whitehall residents Jack and Lynnette Kelley.

Local DJ Steve Maffei Jr also will join the festivities.

“He's always doing things like live dance contests,” Joyce said. “He really keeps the crowd entertained and on their feet.”

But those famous Caste Village fireworks, put on by Pyrotecnico, are what everyone is most excited for, Joyce said.

“It really is pretty awesome for us to put on a fireworks display of that magnitude,” Joyce said. “It really is a pretty impressive sight.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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