Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Fourth of July celebrations are on, combined with “Saturday Nights in the City”

A past Independence Day Food Truck Festival.

Fourth of July celebrations may remind you of life as normal this year.

Harrisburg Independence Day festivities will be combined with Saturday Nights in the City for an evening of food, fireworks and more food.

Originally scheduled as a drive-through food truck event, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said the city decided to make it a traditional walk-up experience.

“We do think it’s appropriate given where we are to do a walk-up,” he said.

As usual, a multitude of food trucks will make their appearance, this time on City Island instead of Riverfront Park. Papenfuse said there will be fewer trucks than usual, but still more than a dozen. While no vendors will be in Riverfront Park, people are free to picnic there.

With the added twist of including the city’s outdoor dining event, Saturday Nights in the City, people will have the option of sitting for table service from downtown restaurants.

“It’s been so successful,” Papenfuse said of the Saturday night event. “We definitely wanted to include that and give people a chance to come downtown.”

Stock’s on Second, Café Fresco, Sawyer’s and Cork & Fork are a few of the list of 20 restaurants that have participated in the outdoor dining experience.

“I think people will have more culinary options than ever before,” Papenfuse said of the Fourth of July celebration.

As is tradition, fireworks will close out the night at about 9:15 p.m. Set off from City Island, the fireworks are visible to the East and West shores.

Throughout the event, participants are encouraged to practice social distancing, Papenfuse said.

Part of the reason for moving forward with Fourth of July activities was due to Capital Region Water’s wastewater epidemiology reports.

According to the mayor, scientists at MIT are working with municipal waste companies to test the wastewater for the virus and predict the number of people in the region who have the virus. Papenfuse said the reports have shown a decline in the number of cases in Harrisburg.

“We feel like everything is definitely moving in the right direction,” he said.

The Harrisburg Independence Day Food Truck event will take place on July 4 on City Island and in downtown Harrisburg. For more information, visit

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