News Column

Family Time: Kid-friendly celebrations for July 4th

July 3, 2014

By Kathy Lauer-Williams, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

July 03--Join Pip the Colonial Mouse for the national bell ringing ceremony and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Pip will wear 18th-century attire and a tri-corner hat when he greets kids for the event at 1 p.m. Friday at the Liberty Bell Shrine Museum at historic Zion's Reformed Church, 622 W. Hamilton St., Allentown.

Deborah Wiles will read her book "Freedom of Summer," a picture book that presents a child's view of summer 1964. The book follows two friends who can't swim together at the town pool because one is black and one is white.

The museum will present a related craft project, the results of which will be displayed in the museum as part of its ongoing exhibit "From the Bell to the Bus and Beyond: Rosa Parks." This exhibit traces the civil rights movement from the Civil War and the abolition of slavery to Rosa Parks and the modern civil rights movement.

Pip the Mouse will help to ring the full-size replica of the Liberty Bell at 2 p.m. as part of the national ceremony, during which the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia will be rung.

In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, Washington was unsuccessful at keeping the British out of the then-capital of Philadelphia. Fearing the Liberty Bell would be melted down to use for ammunition, it was snuck out of the city in a wagon covered with hay and taken to Zion's Reformed Church in Allentown. There the bell was hidden until July 1778, when the British left Philadelphia, and the Liberty Bell could safely be returned.

Admission is $2; $1, ages 5-17; free, 4 and under. Reservations are requested. The museum is open noon-4 p.m. Info: 610-435-4232 or

Peas & Qs summer party

ArtsQuest will hold a free summer party for kids 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday as part of its Peas & Qs series at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem's own Dave Fry will kick things off on Air Products Town Square by performing music from his new CD "Playground." Kids can grab an instrument and join in with Fry on old-time favorites like "All Around the Kitchen," participate with movement on "Tudie Tah" and "Baby Shark" and work up a sweat with a freeze dance. Fry, who was named Bethlehem Fine Arts Artist of the Year in 2012, has been performing for children for more than 30 years and has released three recordings for children.

After the hour-long concert, kids can beat the heat at a sprinkler party with water balloons. Kids also can make Fourth of July themed arts and crafts assisted by Banana Factory artists.

The party is part of ArtsQuest's two-day Independence Day Celebration that includes music, comedy and fireworks.

Info:, 610-332-1300.



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Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)

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