By Betsy Natter

The start of July means cookouts, gatherings of family and friends and for some an annual camping trip to enjoy the great outdoors. If your family is looking for a fun day without the labor of hosting your own backyard bash or packing up the family car with all your camping gear, check out one of these local community sponsored events for summer fun close to home.

Country Fair and Car Show
Trinity Lutheran Church
1190 Valley Forge Rd., Fairview Village, PA 19409
(610) 584-8411

A Country Fair and car, truck, motorcycle and tractor show is scheduled for July 1 beginning at 11 am at Trinity Lutheran Church just outside of Norristown. The fair will feature an attic treasure tent and used book sale, baked goods, moon bounces, food vendors and a Kona Ice truck. Basket raffles and 50/50s will also be available. Located on the grounds of Trinity Lutheran Church, the event is a fundraiser for Silver Springs Martin Luther School.

Picnic in the Park
Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 N. Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 783-1008

Join in the celebration of our nation’s founding with a host of activities from 11 am to 3pm on July 4th at Valley Forge NHP. Listen as Benjamin Franklin recites the Declaration of Independence and then sign your name to a copy. Kids will enjoy “enlisting” in the Continental Army as they practice drills and march. Watch a black powder demonstration, dress-up like a colonial, make your own tricorn hat or a finger print flag, crack the Liberty Bell and dunk the tax collector! Rangers-led walks, trolley tours and story-telling benches will provide the history of the Valley Forge Encampment and our nation’s fight for independence.

A Barbecue Tent will be operational and offering hamburgers, hotdogs and other picnic fare. Music by Philly funk band Darla will be taking place at noon and 1 pm. The event is free to the public. Parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis and shuttle buses will be used to handle parking in inner lots.

GoFourth Festival
Pottstown Memorial Park
75 W. King St, Pottstown, PA 19464

Pottstown is hosting a community holiday celebration with some new twists at Pottstown Memorial Park on July 3 and 4th. The two-day event will feature carnival rides, art and craft vendors, a beer garden by Sly Fox Beer, food tent, tethered hot air balloon rides by The United States Hot Air Balloon Team and a lineup of live musical entertainment. The featured artists, Mobius8 & Fyre, will cap off each night with their professionally-produced laser light show. The show is a safe, environmentally friendly, rain-or-shine alternative to a traditional firework display. Check out the event website for more details and a sneak peak of the light show.

Night Sky Campout
Upper Gwynedd Parks and Recreation
1 Parkside Place, North Wales, PA 19454
(215) 699-7777

Camp with the community and celebrate National Parks and Recreation month with Upper Gwynedd Township on Fri., July 7th from 6 pm to Sat., July 8th at 9 am. Set up your tent and include some decorations to compete in the decorated-site contest. In celebration of our national holiday, the contest theme is “America,” and prizes will be awarded to the top three participants. Activities throughout the evening will include inflatable obstacle courses, bubble soccer, gaga competitions, tie-dye and several eating contests. As the sun sets, the campfire will light up as will the outdoor movie screen. The event is free but a donation of non-perishable food and hygiene items is requested. Those wishing to camp out must register prior to the event by filling out the online form. For more information contact Emily Croke at [email protected] or call 215-699-7777.

Garden to Table Community Dinner
151 W. Main St., Trappe, PA 19426
(610) 489-7560

Join the Trappe community as it celebrates its 300th anniversary with a community dinner in the middle of Main Street, just outside the home known as “The Speaker’s House.” The house was formerly owned by Frederick Muhlenburg, who is best known as the first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Live music will accompany the meal which will feature appetizers, dinner and dessert. Beverages including beer and wine will also be available. In the event of inclement weather, the indoor venue for the dinner is St. Luke’s UCC, 200 W. Main Street. Tickets may be purchased online at Proceeds from the event will go towards special projects sponsored by the Trappe 300 committee. 

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