Pasadena’s 4th Fest to offer even more ways to celebrate Independence Day
Pasadena’s 4th Fest is always a day brimming with free games, fireworks and other fun, family-friendly activities designed to help the community celebrate Independence Day together. But this year, the largest City-sponsored event will be even bigger.
For starters, the 4th Fest will be expanded to be held from 2-9 p.m. this year and will take place on Saturday, July 3. The event will still be held at the Pasadena Convention Center and Fairgrounds with a bevy of new events joining the line-up.
One of this year’s new offerings will also be one of the tastiest: a BBQ cook-off. For the first time, Toys for Tots will hold its annual Mid-Year Cook-Off in conjunction with the 4th Fest. The cook-off will primarily take place on Saturday, with three prizes being awarded in each of the following categories: beans, ribs, chicken and brisket.
All of the money collected at the cook-off will be donated to USMC Toys for Tots (Galveston Division) to help provide toys for area children who may not otherwise receive gifts at Christmas, as part of the organization year-round work to collect toys for needy children in the community. Around Christmas time, the group turns the toys over to the U.S. Marine Corps, who distribute them to the kids, not only giving them a brighter holiday, but also giving a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. For more information on how to register a team for this weekend full of fun & competition with some of the best BBQ teams around, while enjoying the festive, family-friendly atmosphere at the 4th Fest, visit www.toysfortotstoyrun.com
Another new area at the event will be the water wars station, which was designed to be not only plenty of fun, but also helpful in beating the Texas summer heat. In fact, many of the day’s activities, including the Kid Zone, petting zoo and athletic events, take place indoors or under a covered area in order to give people a break from the heat or in case of rain.
Other new additions at this year’s 4th Fest will include an archery shoot, a chipping contest and the first-ever Vendor Expo, in which participating businesses and community organizations will have the opportunity to meet local residents and distribute promotional items as visitors come by to compete in Vendor Bingo and try to win prizes.
Even with all of the fun new additions to the festivities, the 4th Fest will also feature all of the popular activities that have become traditional favorites through the years. There will still be a Kid Zone, full of inflatable jumpers, carnival games and face painting for children of all ages, as well as a petting zoo, hayrides and a parade. The car show will also return, being held from noon until 6 p.m. with judging beginning at 3 p.m. And, of course, the evening will culminate in an elaborate fireworks show, which is scheduled to begin around 9:15 p.m.
“The whole thing was designed to be a family event,” said Michael Walker, chair of the event. “Our games and activities are geared towards kids of all ages and provide the opportunity for parents to interact and play right along with their kids. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
He added, “We’re predicting the largest crowd we’ve ever had, and we’re excited about that. It’s what we aim for. We’re anticipating this event to be the best ever.”
There is no cost for admission or parking at the 4th Fest. However, this year, the local animal advocacy group, Pets & People Alliance, will be on-hand to accept any donations of canned dog or cat food.
The 4th Fest is hosted by the City of Pasadena and is sponsored in part by Pasadena Health Center, Capital Bank, Wal-Mart and Waste Management. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation department at (713) 740-7062.