New Castle will be exploding with the arts from 4pm to 10pm this Friday and Saturday, July 10th and 11th when the city hosts the New Castle Fireworks Festival featuring Arts on the Riverwalk. This is the second year the two festivals will be presented simultaneously as a joint effort between the Lawrence County Tourism Promotion Agency and the Hoyt Center for the Arts. Staged in the heart of downtown, this event has something for everyone to enjoy!
There is a children’s area with activities that include face painting, mask and jewelry crafting, puppet making and tie-dye. Kids and adults alike can literally paint the streets Friday afternoon with paint and stencils provided by festival staff. Kids ages 3-12 can compete for prizes in a sidewalk chalk drawing contest on Saturday from 4-6pm. Lowe’s is sponsoring an “Anything That Floats” competition in which participants (adult and child categories) build floating models from recycled materials and then float them down the Neshannock Creek. And speaking of floating, you won’t want to miss the traditional American Cancer Society “Rubber Ducky Derby” on Saturday, July 11th at 7:00pm.
There will be music from three stages including several bands performing Friday evening at the Riverwalk Amphitheater for the Wounded Warrior benefit concert. Street performers, including musicians, story tellers, jugglers and some characters the kids will definitely recognize, will provide entertainment on both days at various locations around the festival. Danny Neff will bring his “Bubble Wagon” to give festival goers the opportunity to create giant soap bubbles – this was a BIG hit last year!
The Artists Market is where you can shop for quality fine art and craft items of a wide variety and see art demonstrations by artist from all over our region and beyond. The Hoyt Center for the Arts will be holding a juried arts competition and PureJoy Studio will be operating their Star Wars themed photo booth with special appearances by R2D2 both days. First Presbyterian Church (at the corner of Jefferson and State Streets) is continuing their outdoor summer movie series with the free showing of “Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back” at dusk in the parking lot behind the church (or in the fellowship hall in case of rain). Bring a chair and enjoy activities before the movie and free movie snacks.
There will also be tours of New Castle’s North Hill Historic District and the Lawrence County Historical Society will be hosting their annual Ice Cream Social with children’s activities and free ice cream. The Historical Society will also be opening their Underground Railroad Exhibit the evening of July 11th. The Society lawn has always been one of our family’s favorite places from which to watch the spectacular fireworks launched over downtown at around 10pm on Saturday night. This year we get fireworks Friday evening also! I’ll be working downtown helping out with the festival and checking in at my favorite café, Two Rivers Artisan Coffee Works in the Riverplex. The view of the fireworks is pretty good from there as well. After the last ka-booms, stop by the Riverplex Saturday night for the “After Party” and say hello!
© 2015 Curt Savage Media