First place winner Hannah Koch, 10 was one of many winners in the annual Fourth of July celebration sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Bocce Club. (Photo by Sue Ann Rybak)

by Eric Dolente

Meticulously decorated bicycles, pocket-size American flags and children and parents alike dressed in red, white and blue will fill the streets of Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy this Wednesday for a day of celebration. A succession of activities will follow a vibrant parade, including foot races, a community lunch, face painting and a live magic show.

The tradition has not changed since its commencement 102 years ago. The Chestnut Hill Bocce Club is undertaking its 37th year as the event planner. The Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy Business Men’s Association successfully started and ran the event at the Water Tower Recreation Center until the Bocce Club took over four weeks prior to their first Fourth of July. Even though the planner had changed, the location and excitement surrounding the day had not.

Although festivities begin around 9 a.m., more than 100 participants and organizers will be up far earlier working tirelessly to make sure the day becomes a successful one. The organizers should be thanked, but the day wouldn’t be half of what it is if it were not for the funding the Bocce Club receives. From donations by members of the club, to selling of chances for cash prizes, there is much needed to fund an eventful day like the Fourth of July. Nonetheless, all of those who will contribute to the planning, organizing and volunteering of the day are to be thanked.

Another positive part about the day is that the events end early enough for other planned activities.

The schedule of the day is as follows:

9 a.m. A parade by Hartwell Lane and Devon Street where children and their parents bring decorated bikes, wagons and floats to be judged in various categories. To begin the day, a rendition of the National Anthem will be performed.

10 a.m. Following the parade will be various activities held behind the Water Tower Recreation Center by the baseball fields. Some activities include: races, face painting, moon bounces and much more.

11 a.m.A free lunch will be held consisting of hot dogs, juice and ice cream.

11:30 a.m. To conclude the day, a live magic show will be held.

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