Nearly every year, for as long as I can remember, my friends, family and I have visited Long’s Park Amphitheater in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for their phenomenal fireworks, music and fun Independence Day celebration. Most families and groups make a grand evening of this memorable event. We bring food, frisbees, kids and pets. Lawn chairs and blankets are strewn all over the grass like a fine patchwork quilt.
The evening begins with a band, typically the local Lancaster Symphony orchestra or a U.S. military band. Around 7 p.m. the large outdoor Amphitheater lights up to the sounds of the classics. Bach, and Beethoven, along with Patriotic favorites, are heard throughout the park and surrounding areas.
As the evening grows darker, and everyone has binged on their favorite foods from Turkey Hill ice cream to Bricker’s french fries, the anticipation grows. We all know what’s coming. The infamous fireworks display that is complimented with none other than our former mayor’s impressive Cannons sounding off to the band playing the ‘1812 Overture’.
If you have young children, I do not recommend bringing them with you for these festivities. Between the loud music, cannons, and fireworks, children tend to be scared of the spectacle. However, for us grown kids, the sights and sounds are a true pleasure to behold.
Most years the attendance is several thousand, and we’re all packed into the open lawn theater, sweating from the hot July heat. The cool night breezes accompany the grandeur of the sounds from the band playing. Every year brings a new beauty to behold in the lit sky.
Attending Long’s Park for the annual Independence Day celebration is a tradition for many in this area. We look forward to the packed crowds, yummy fair-style foods, music and grand fireworks to complete the night. Although the traffic coming in and out of the park is always a maze of confusion, it is a fun evening for all.
I recommend getting to the park at least on hour before the band begins playing around 7 p.m. Arriving any later than that, you’re guaranteed to have a parking spot that is quite a distance from where you want to sit. Traffic directors are available, but there is still a lot of confusion when leaving the park. Just pack a bottle of patience, and you’ll be fine.
As lovely as the food is, think about bringing a basket fool of goodies, and a cooler of pop for everyone to enjoy. I’ve gone on several dates to this event, and it always makes for a fun time with a great date!
Long’s Park Independence Day celebrations are by far one of the most exciting venues in the country to attend for July 4th. I hope you will stop by this year, and make it your own tradition, as many have.