Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Feast Then Fireworks: Annual Food Truck Fest returns to Harrisburg for July 4

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse today introduced the city’s July 4 celebration in Riverfront Park.

It’s almost that time of the year when Riverfront Park is filled with music, food and, of course, fireworks.

Starting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, the banks of the Susquehanna River will become home to more than 40 food trucks, bands, vendors and more for the annual July 4th Food Truck Festival.

“We are ready here in the city for our annual Fourth of July Food Truck Festival and Fireworks,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “It is, as always, a one-day, free event, and we are expecting at least 35,000 visitors for this amazing event.”

Food favorites such as Soul Burrito, Artisan Pizza, Potato Coop and Mad Dash are returning this year, as well as the always-popular Farm Show milkshakes. New this year are Cactus Blue Mexican, selling tacos, chimichangas, nachos and other favorites, Marsico’s A Taste of Italy and Bananarama with frozen, organic banana whip sundaes.

For the first time, the festival will hosts a wine garden next to Kunkel Plaza. Guests can enjoy wine from five wineries including 5 Schmucks Winery, Winery at Hunters Valley and J&P Winery. There will also be acoustic music played by Keith Goldstein and Alex Alegria in the garden.

Four music acts will perform on the live music stage near the Market Street Bridge between 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This year’s lineup includes Shrimp Ryan’s Jig Band, Justin Angelo Band, Lost Love Horizon and Time Bomb. The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra is also returning to the festival. At 7:30 p.m., the orchestra will perform in Reservoir Park’s band shell.

“It’s a phenomenal concert, completely free,” said Devan Drabik, director of Explore HBG. “And the view of the fireworks [at Reservoir Park] is phenomenal. So, we encourage you to check that out, too.”

The Kid’s Zone will be packed with many activities for children, including free face painting, arts and crafts and balloon art. Staring at 5 p.m., kids will also get the chance to take photos with Wonder Woman and Captain America.

Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m. and last for around 30 minutes. According to Scott Elliott, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, 1,000 firework shells are expected to launch during the show.

Street parking will be free for the day. Parking is $5 for those who wish to park on City Island and $10 at the Market Street Garage from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Recycle Bicycle will have a free stand for those riding their bikes to the event.

Guest will also get to experience the newly cemented lower river walk, a $500,000 project that started a few months ago. Though the walk is not 100-percent finished, Papenfuse stated that the area right across from City Island is available for people to sit and watch the fireworks.

Attendees can also grab hold of a “foodie guide” to plan out their festival experience.

“We’re hoping for wonderful weather. We know we’ll have an incredible family-friendly day,” Papenfuse said. “I hope you can all come and join us on Thursday, July 4, to celebrate Independence Day in our great capital city.”

The July 4th Food Truck Festival is Thursday, July 4, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Riverfront Park, Harrisburg, with fireworks following. For more information, visit


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