Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Taste of Freedom: Harrisburg sets riverfront food truck fest, fireworks for July 4

Last year’s “Taste of Independence” Food Truck Festival brought in 35,000 attendees to Harrisburg’s riverfront.

Even with the forthcoming heatwave, Mayor Eric Papenfuse predicts the festival will pull in even more guests.

“I am excited and very hopeful that we are going to break that 35,000-people record from last year,” Papenfuse said. “It will be an extraordinary day and an extraordinary event.”

Next week’s festival on July 4 will feature more than 40 food trucks including Soul Burrito, The Potato Coop, Brazil on Wheels, Mad Sandwiches and more.

New this year is a “foodies map and guide,” which lists all food vendors and their items as well as a map outlining where the trucks will be located.

“[The guide] allows you, from the comfort of your own home, to plan how you are going to attack this festival,” Papenfuse said.

For music lovers, Maudlin Moon, Strangest Hearts, D-BO, Nearly York, Alex Allegra and Keith Goldstein will perform on the Market Street Stage and on the acoustic music stage in Kunkel Plaza

The Children’s Festival will include glitter tattoos, caricatures, lawn games and activities. Superheros and princesses will meet and pose for pictures, and children can create their own hero masks for $5.

Also new to the festival is an outdoor film screening presented by Midtown Cinema. Following the fireworks, there will be a showing of “Moana” between Market and Walnut streets. The wayfinding princess will pose for pictures during the screening, as well.

“I’m really excited this year about the children’s festival activities,” Papenfuse said. “There will be lawn games and activities and all sorts of things for children.”

The fireworks produced by ZY Pyrotechnics will begin around 9:15 p.m. and feature a 15-minute show of over 1,000 shells launched from City Island.

Street parking on July 4 will be free. For $5, guests can park at City Island, and there will be $10 parking in the Market Square Garage from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cyclists can drop their bikes off at Recycle Bicycle, which will then check bike brakes and air pressure while attendees roam the festival.

“As you can see it’s going to be an incredible day this July 4,” Papenfuse said. “I’m hoping everyone will come and join us at the Riverfront this Wednesday and, even after, stick around for that movie under the stars. It’s going to be a wonderful day celebrating the Taste of Independence Food Truck Festival.”

The Taste of Independence Food Truck Festival is July 4, 3 to 9 p.m. at Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park between North and Market streets. For more information of the festival and to get your foodies guide, visit

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