What To Do: Fireworks, fun for Fourth of July

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Downingtown Good Neighbor Day

This is Fourth of July week and that means it is time for parties, festivals, picnics and a lot of fireworks displays.

The 44th Annual Downingtown Good Neighbor Day (www.GoodNeighborDay.com) will be held on July 4 at Kerr Park in Downingtown from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Activities will get underway with a “Prayer and Flag Ceremony” at 8 a.m. and then it will be time for the races.
The 43rd Annual Run for Life (5K, 10K & 15K) and the 26th Annual 5K Freedom Walk are scheduled for 8 a.m. while the 26th Annual Kids-K Fun Run starts at 10 a.m.
The large array of crafts, food and vendors’ booths will open at 8 a.m. Carnival rides, amusement games and festival food will be available from 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Other activities scheduled for the pre-noon hours are the Canoe Race at 10 a.m. and the Annual Bicycle Decorating Contest at 10:30 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., it will be time for the Annual Duck Race and live music.
The Cornhole Tournament will start at 2 p.m. and the Downingtown Has Talent event is scheduled for 4 p.m. The finale will be a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
Wawa Welcome America kicks into high gear next weekend but also has an attractive option this upcoming week – “Wawa Welcome America Free Museum Days.”
During the 16-day Wawa Welcome America celebration, 35 Philly institutions offer free (or pay-what-you-wish admission). There are many special events this week. Some are outdoor only events, some are indoor only events and some are a mixture of the two.
The “Wawa Welcome America Festival” (www.welcomeamerica.com), which is running through July 4, is a festival of free events in Philadelphia in celebration of our nation’s birthday — a huge party that hits its peak with an abundance of festivities on Independence Day.
Activities this weekend The Black Music Month 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert + Fireworks on June 28,
June 29 activities include “Pershing’s Own Concert” at the Great Plaza, “Avenue of the Arts Block Party.”
The Philadelphia Zoo 150th Anniversary Celebration is scheduled for July 1 and the Salute to Service: The United States Army Field Band featuring LeAnn Rimes will be held on July 3.
Special events on July 4 are “Celebration of Freedom Ceremony” at Independence Hall, “Salute to America Independence Day” on East Market Street, and “Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert” from 7-10 p.m. on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway starring Ne-Yo and Kesha.
The grand finale will be the “Wawa Welcome America Fireworks Spectacular” on the Ben Franklin Parkway starting at 9:45 p.m.

Tredyffrin Township Fireworks

Tredyffrin Township Fireworks (www.tredyffrin.org/services/parks-recreation/community-events-/fourth-of-july-celebration) are scheduled for July 4 at 7 p.m.

The free, all-ages event will be held at Wilson Farm Park, which is located at 500 Lee Road in Wayne.
Families can gather to celebrate the Fourth of July at Wilson Farm Park starting with music by the Just For Fun DJ Joe Griffith. The fireworks display begins at dusk.
It is important to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Picnic dinners and lawn games can be brought along as well.
The Museum of the American Revolution (101 South Third Street, Philadelphia, www.amrevmuseum.org) is hosting a multi-day Fourth of July celebration that will run now through July 4.
The Museum will have an array of special exhibits, events, and activities for all ages.
The Museum’s current special exhibit is “Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent.” The exhibition greatly expands the story told in the Museum’s award-winning Washington’s War Tent film and brings to life the stories of those who saved George Washington’s tent from being lost over time.
The Museum’s family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, will be open daily throughout the summer.
In a pocket theater that evokes the interior of Independence Hall, visitors can watch a film about the tumultuous weeks leading up to the adoption of the Declaration. Through a touchscreen installation, visitors learn about the 88 local declarations of support for independence that preceded the one issued by the Continental Congress.
Neighborhood Walking Tours and Guided Gallery Tours will be offered daily.
Admission to the museum is $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and $13 for youth (ages 6-17).
Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) is presenting a “4th of July @ The Vineyard!” from July 4-7.
The winery will open at 11 a.m. each day and have matinee performances of live music.
On July 4, there will be music by Rick Caldwell from 1-4 p.m. and Jason Ager will perform on July 5 from 2-5 p.m.
July 6’s concert will feature Ryan Laliberte from 2-5 p.m. On July 7, Bill Hake will
Wine will be available by the glass or bottle for enjoying (no tastings).
Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic and bring their children and well-behaved leashed pets. Lawn seating is entirely weather dependent.

Chaddsford Winery

On July 6 and 7, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Red, White & BBQ.”

The winery is celebrating Independence Day with delicious BBQ from local food trucks, live music, and a pre-release. Chadds Ford Winery has taken all of the sweet freshness of apples and bottled it into its latest vintage of Sparkling Apple. There will be complimentary samples for the first 100 guests.
Visitors can keep cool through the weekend with other refreshing libations like the Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade or a rose Wine Slushie, alongside craft beer and favorite local wines.
Admission is free with walk-in seating only. Wine is available by the glass only. Bottles are available for to-go sales.
The winery is also having its Customer Appreciation Weekend on June 29 and 30.
Wine tastings will be free with any purchase. One tasting per customer.
In addition to free tastings, you can save 15% on select bottles.
On July 4, Paradocx Vineyard (1833 Flint Hill Rd, Landenberg, paradocx.com) is presenting Chorduroy 4th of July free concert from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Playing tunes from the 70’s to current hits. Chorduroy finds Dance classics, classic rock, pop-music, Hip-hop, funk, reggae and everything in-between to create a unique and fun sound.
The event features Award Winning Wine, Delicious Food, Wine Slushies, PA Craft Beer, and a Special Cocktail Menu.
The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park (3900 North Sandy Flash Drive, Newtown Square, http://www.colonialplantation.org/) gets into the spirit of the holiday with a “4th of July Special Event” featuring a signing of the Declaration of Independence, followed by reenactors portraying the colonial and loyalist reactions.
On July 4, visitors can enjoy a picnic at the farm and celebrate our nation’s birthday by hearing the Declaration of Independence and witnessing the crowd’s reaction. They can also watch the colonials make a demonstration against the king by burning him in effigy and see the loyalist reaction to this treasonous act.
Other activities at the farm include hearth cooking, textile demonstrations, long rifle, garden and animal talks. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic basket lunch, a comfortable chair or blanket and enjoy the Fourth as it was celebrated years ago on a true colonial farm in the Brandywine Valley.
Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children and seniors. The site is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with last admission at 3 p.m.
Fort Mifflin (Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, www.fortmifflin.us) is presenting “The 4th at The Fort” starting at 10 a.m. on July 4.
Fort Mifflin is inviting visitors to “celebrate American Independence at the ‘Fort That Saved America.’”
Visitors can celebrate American Independence at an intact Revolutionary War battlefield.
They will be able to learn the story of the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution during guided tours and enjoy musket and cannon demonstrations and Revolutionary War Soldier Life display along with many living history activities, Patriots vs Loyalists games and contests.
Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for students and $8 for seniors.
On Thursday, there will be “July 4th Tall Ship Tours” of the Kalmar Nyckel (kalmarnyckel.org) at Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park on Rosa Parks Drive in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. The free tours will be offered from 3-7 p.m.
In addition to tours of the Kalmar Nyckel, there will be live music; a Creative Art-making tent; a petting zoo and pony rides; mini-train rides; sports games; gardening and flowerpot-making; balloon art and face painting. Food and merchandise vendors will also be onsite throughout the afternoon and evening.
On July 2 and 3, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Frawley Stadium, 801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-888-2015, http://www.milb.com) will play the Jersey Shore Blue Claws and then present a fireworks extravaganza after each game.
Game time is 5:05 p.m.
July 2 is also “Pups in the Park” night where dogs are invited to attend the game – an event which I hope everyone ignores — for obvious reasons.
An “Independence Day Weekend Fireworks Extravaganza” is slated for June 29 starting at 6:45 p.m. at Clipper Magazine Stadium (650 North Prince Street, Lancaster, https://www.lancasterstormers.com) when the Lancaster Stormers play the Long Island Ducks.
Guests can enjoy a fireworks display at Clipper Magazine Stadium. There will be craft beer served at the Broken Bat, food, lawn games, Tennis Ball Toss presented by PA Lottery and the kids park will be open.
The Reading Fightin’ Phillies (First Energy Stadium, 1900 Centre Avenue, Reading, http://www.milb.com) will play the Somerset Patriots on July 4.
The Fightin Phils will wear special Military Appreciation Jerseys. The evening will conclude with Carpenter MEGA Blast Fireworks, the largest fireworks show in stadium history. Tickets start at $9.
The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Coca-Cola Park, 1050 Ironpigs Way, Allentown, https://www.milb.com/lehigh-valley) will have a big-time celebration on July 2 and again on July 3.
There will be evening games on both July 2 and 3 and a matinee game on July 3 against the ScrantonWilkes-Barre RailRiders with fireworks displays following all three games.
The popular annual event features a variety of food options, family fun, and music, as well as the season’s biggest and most spectacular fireworks show.
Fireworks will get underway shortly after the conclusion of each game.
The 2024 “Pottstown GoFourth!” (Downtown Pottstown, www.pottstowngofourth.com) will be held July 4 starting with the Rotary Club of Pottstown Parade on High Street at 10 a.m.
From 11:15 a.m-4 p.m., the “Pottstown GoFourth! Street Fest” will take place on High Street from Charlotte to York streets in the heart of downtown Pottstown. The festival will feature local restaurants, brew pubs and beer gardens, live music, kids’ activities, vendors and artisans.
At 9:30 p.m., there will be a spectacular fireworks show at Memorial Park, sponsored by Precision Polymer Products.
Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) is celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with “Cannon Firings” on June 30.
Visitors can have a blast during their visit to Hagley with a demonstration of the site’s signal cannon. The cannon may look small but it really packs a punch.
Demonstrations take place at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
Additional “Cannon Firings” will be staged on July 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Admission to Hagley is: $20, Adults; $16, Seniors (62+) and Students; and $10, Children 6-14.
W
ilmington and Western Railroad (Greenbank Station, 2201 Newport-Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, www.wwrr.com) is running a special train on July 4 – “Fireworks Express.”
Passengers can park at the railroad’s Greenbank Station and then the train will take them directly into Hockessin for the annual July 4th Fireworks. They won’t have to worry about the parking hassles in Hockessin as the engineer will do the parking for them.
Riders are welcome to bring coolers, blankets and folding chairs aboard.
Boarding begins at 6:45 p.m. and the train departs at 7 p.m. Allow four hours for the train ride and fireworks show.
This excursion will be powered by one of the tourist rail line’s antique steam locomotives.
Tickets are $28 for all.
The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running its “$17.76 Happy Independence Day” on July 5, 6 and 7.
It’s “All Aboard” at the special price of just $17.76 for the train ride to Seitzland on the historic PRR GP diesel locomotive.
The ride follows the route of the original Northern Central Railroad through the scenic Heritage Rail Trail County Park. This excursion is a one-hour round trip ride.
Tickets are $17.76 (age 13+) and $10 Child (age 2-12).
Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) is presenting its “Summer Splash” now through September 8.
There’s nothing like summer at Sesame Place Philadelphia! It’s a great time to have fun and cool off with splashy water attractions like the Bert & Ernie’s Splashy Shores and the new tropical themed land, Big Bird’s Beach.
Other attractions are The Count’s Splash Castle and Big Bird’s Rambling River, Captain Cookie’s High C’s Adventure, Elmo’s Flyin’ Fish, and Oscar’s Wacky Taxi Roller Coaster.
Summer is perfect for meeting your favorite furry friends and taking bright, beautiful pictures with them. The park also has exciting shows, special events, parades, dance parties, character dining experiences, and other surprises lined up to give visitors even more ways to connect.
The amusement park will host its “July 4th Fest” on July 4.
There will be “Patriotic Elmo Meet & Greets,” where guests can get a photo and a hug with Elmo who will be all dressed up in his patriotic red, white & blue outfit.
The park will also present its spectacular “C is for Celebrate” fireworks display on July 4 at 9 p.m.
Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) is presenting a “Red, White & Blueberries BBQ Bash” on July 4.
On this special day, Peddler’s Village will be serving up all-American grilled favorites and featuring family entertainment, and kids’ activities.
Other activities include “Three-Legged Race,” “Sack Races,” “Balloon Toss” and a “Watermelon Eating Contest.”
Guests can stroll the Village and check out the exquisite sand sculptures, which are part of the site’s “Stories in the Sand.”
Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) will feature free admission on July 4.
Additionally, the zoo is presenting several of its ultra-popular “Dog Days” over the next week. The Zoo’s “Dog Days” event will be held on June 28 and 30.
All guests visiting the zoo with a furry friend must complete an online waiver and submit required documents before visiting the zoo. You must upload a copy of your most recent veterinary visit, including proof of vaccine and heartworm test here. All items will be required for you to attend “Dog Days.”
Pricing is $10.95 per dog with each additional dog at $9.95. Regular zoo admission is required for all humans.
There will also be “Breakfast with the Giraffes” sessions on June 29 and 30.at 8:30 a.m. each day.
Visitors are encouraged to rise and shine for the most important meal of the day and share it with the Zoo’s three towering giraffes.
After enjoying a delicious outdoor breakfast buffet right next to the giraffes, participants will be able to enjoy an exclusive giraffe feeding.
Prices start at $134.95 for a table of four.
Aston Township (3270 Concord Road, Aston, astontownship.net) invites everyone join in on the Fourth of July for live music, food trucks and fireworks.
The free event will feature The Fabulous Greaseband at its brand-new amphitheater, located in the rear of the Community Center. This portion of our celebration will begin at 5 p.m., with the band beginning at 7 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m., just in time for the annual fireworks display which will begin around 9:30 p.m. at Sun Valley High School.
The Annual Kutztown Folk Festival (Kutztown Fairgrounds, off Route 222, Kutztown, 888-674-6136,www.kutztownfestival.com) opens on June 29 and runs through July 7.
Settlers from Germany played a major role in the early history of Pennsylvania and their influence is still being felt. These pioneers and their customs are honored each summer at a Pennsylvania German folk festival in Kutztown — an event that has been around for more than a half-century and is still growing.
The popular annual event, which is billed as a celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch culture, features traditional crafts, food, music and folk life.
The festival features country auctions, parades and bands, fiddling, live music and dancing, comedy, storytelling and historical seminars. Daily activities include displays of farming and gardening, churches and weddings, folk life, Pennsylvania Dutch dialect and folklore, furniture, spinning and weaving, country cooks and candle making.
The festival also offers non-stop entertainment with country auctions, parades and bands, fiddling, live music and dancing, comedy, storytelling and historical seminars. Additionally, over 200 juried folk artists and traditional American craftsmen will be participating with both sales and demonstrations.
For the first time, the Kutztown Folk Festival will host an authentic Harvest Home celebration at the Union Church. Visitors can step back in time and witness this fascinating Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of adorning the local church with harvest decorations, fruits, and vegetables in celebration of a successful harvest and safe storage of food before winter.
There will also be a lot of attractions for children including puppet shows, make-and-take crafts sessions, real-life haystacks, story time sessions, a hay maze, sing-alongs and a variety of hands-on activities.
As always, there will be plenty of booths featuring Pennsylvania Dutch food treats and beverages, including family style feasts, shoo-fly pies, sausage sandwiches, pastries, country chicken dinners, strawberry shortcake, funnel cakes, ox roasts, sarsaparilla and chicken potpie.
The festival will open its gates each day at 10 a.m. and run until 8 p.m. Admission to the festival is $16.
This weekend, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-3976, phillyexpocenter.com) will host “TooManyGames” from June 28-30.
TooManyGames is the convention for anyone interested in video games, board games, CCGs, and tabletop gaming.
TooManyGames is known for its massive marketplace, voice actors from some of the best franchises in the industry, YouTube personalities, huge free play arcade, video game and board game tournaments, esports tournaments, gaming industry guests and panels, lan party, and so much more.
The marketplace has more than 160 vendors selling retro games, new games, board games, crafts, art and so much more.
Admission is $40.
The Nottingham Country Fair will be held on June 29 from 3-8 p.m. at Nottingham County Park.
The event features free admission and parking and live music by Kenny Don’t Play.
Activities at the fair include Pie Eating Contest, Kids Pedal Tractor Pull with the Waterloo Boys, Craft Vendors, Wagon Rides, Kids Inflatables, Face Painting , Corn Hole, Giant Lawn Twister, Cow Tipping Race and Kids Panning for Gold.
The Food Trucks at the fair will be 22 BBQ Food Truck , Cousins Maine Lobster, Albies Burger Truck and Smoke Signals BBQ.
The intriguing new production Paranormal Cirque (https://paranormalcirque.com), which is intended for a mature audience, is touching down at several locations over the next six weeks – Lancaster (June 20-23), Bensalem (June 27-30), Whitehall (July 4-7), Pottstown (July 18-21) and Dover, Delaware (July 25-28).
This weekend, the circus will set up at Park City Center, which is located at 142 Park City Center in Lancaster.
Paranormal Cirque will expose audiences to a unique creation of combined theatre, circus, and cabaret with a new European style flare.
This innovative horror story, which is presented in true circus style under a Big Top tent, features different shades of sexy and an incomparable storyline. Audiences likely will find it difficult to separate reality from illusion at this show as they fall into a parallel world and end up surrounded by monstrous creatures with hidden talents.
Currently, Paranormal Cirque has three tours running – Paranormal Cirque, Paranormal Cirque II and Paranormal Cirque III. The tour visiting our area is Paranormal Cirque III
Paranormal Cirque’s “Clown Castle” (also known as the Big Top) presents a mesmerizing effect while hosting a two-hour hypnotizing and enchanted show.
A careful casting selection has united the best artists from all over the world.
Under this Clown Castle, the black and red big top tent, there are aerial acrobats, illusionists, freaks, mysterious creatures and all the elements that make one think of a “normal” circus – but this one is not “normal.”
A new show with breathtaking implications always poised between fun and the most uninhibited fear that will transport you to a dark world inhabited by creatures with incredible circus art abilities. A crazy yet fun fusion between circus, theatre, and cabaret in perfect harmony with the evolution of a show that brings you back to when we dream … and when we had nightmares and fantasies.
Video link for Paranormal Cirque — https://youtu.be/locxFnh5UR8.
The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.wcrailroad.com) is running its “Summer Picnic Specials” every Sunday now through September 22 at noon each day.
Passengers can enjoy a relaxing 90-minute train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on a warm summer afternoon. They can also pack a lunch to have during the excursion’s stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children (ages 2-12).
Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” on June 28.
In life and death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This introductory tour provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill East’s long history, which includes many marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories that afford the cemetery its “wow” factor.
MaryEllen Moran, an experienced graveyard guide, will offer a personal perspective on beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for Seniors (Ages 65+) and Students with ID.
If you enjoy walking around garden displays or if you like to look at model railroad layouts, then you should definitely check out the Garden Railway Display at the Morris Arboretum & Garden (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, www.morrisarboretum.org).
The ultra-popular Garden Railway Display has become a major summer attraction at The Gardens at Morris Arboretum. The 26th annual edition of the display had its official season opening in late May and now will remain open until September 30.
This summer, Morris Arboretum will unveil a brand-new exhibition in its popular Garden Railway – “Garden Railway: Dinos!”
With more than 15 different rail lines running along a third of a mile of track, visitors will enjoy a spectacular display of dinosaurs including Triceratops, and Velociraptor, as well as other Mesozoic creatures—all made out of natural materials such as bark, leaves, and twigs.
As one of the largest outdoor miniature train displays in the United States, the Garden Railway will delight and amaze visitors of all ages.
The railway has a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under) and bustling model trains.
The buildings and the display are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers.
Philadelphia-area landmarks are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle. There is even a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.
Visitors will be able to see miniature replicas of iconic structures at some of America’s most famous public gardens including the Climatron at Missouri Botanical Garden, Torii Gate and Pavilion at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens, and so much more.
The Garden Railway is celebrating 25 years with a new addition — 300 feet of track. This is the largest expansion of the Garden Railway since it was installed in 1998. The new looping section of track extends the total model rail trackage to a third of a mile, making it one of the largest outdoor model train displays in the country.
Admission is $20 for adults; $18 for seniors (65 and older); $10 for students (ages 13-17 or with ID), active military and retired military; and free for children (under 3).
A sweet place to enjoy flowers in bloom is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).
The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Bluebird Nesting Box Tour” at 1 p.m. on June 30.
For more than 50 years, volunteers at Tyler Arboretum have been monitoring the nesting activities of the Eastern Bluebird. This is a family-friendly tour to share this tradition.
Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $18 for adults (ages 18-64), $15 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.
Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/) will be presenting a “Guided Mansion Tour” on June 30.
Hope Lodge was built between 1743 and 1748 by Samuel Morris, a prosperous Quaker entrepreneur. Morris acted as a farmer, shipowner, miller, iron master, shop owner, and owner of the mill now known as Mather Mill. Hope Lodge is an excellent example of early Georgian architecture, and it is possible that Edmund Woolley, architect of Independence Hall, offered advice in building. Samuel Morris owned the estate until his death in 1770.
Visitors can participate by watching a short film and then taking a tour. Guided tours of the mansion will depart at 1 and 2:30 p.m.
Tour admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 65+) and for youth ages 6-17, and free for children under 5. Hope Lodge is a Blue Star Museum which means that active-duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, are admitted free for regular tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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