July 4, Good Neighbor Day an explosive combination

Borough packs parks for races, games, music, fireworks

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times

MG_3358-998x1000DOWNINGTOWN – Four races on land, two on water, a 5k walk, food, fireworks, music, and a wife-carrying competition combined for a packed day and a packed Kerr Park during Good Neighbor Day on the Fourth of July.

The day, which benefitted ambulance and rescue squads located within the Downingtown Area School District, kicked off at 7:40 in the morning with a prayer and flag ceremony.

For the next few hours, the 5k, 10k, and 15k races all took place as a part of the 36th Annual “Run For Life”, as well as the 5k Freedom Walk, and Kids-K Fun Run.

Brother Bob & Friends Band, Pennsylvania Surfers, Moondawgs, Jeff Domenick with Jeff Byrne, and The Rivers Rockabilly Trio provided the day’s soundtrack.

Big wheel, canoe, and duck races rounded out the morning with the Turks Head Exchange Club distributing flags to attendees.

_MG_3388Various food vendors, ranging from standard fair fare to Hopewell’s Boy Scout Troop 8 to local businesses kept people refreshed and refueled. Goshen Donuts provided sweets and savories while Happy Pita, perhaps Downingtown’s first food truck, rolled up gyros and wraps, and maybe more of an international sensation by now, Auntie Anne’s returned to its hometown.

Dennis Harty, a committee member for Boy Scout Troop 8, said that events like Good Neighbor Day allow the Boy Scouts to connect to the community while providing helping to provide opportunities for the kids.

“The people of Downingtown help us out by buying a funnel cake, buying a hot dog, donating money; it’s a wonderful thing. We like to give back the community,” he said. Harty said that many of the cooks manning the grills and fryers were parents and boys who have aged out of the program. The money they raised goes toward funding trips and projects for the Boy Scouts.

As the night went on, glowsticks and sparklers lit up one section of Kerr Park while rides and games illuminated Kardon Park. Residents gathered in the grass, along roads, and on the Wallace Ave. bridge to watch the fireworks that culminated the day’s festivities.

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