The weekend's events—which will include a 20-minute-plus fireworks show set to patriotic music on Saturday night and a rededication of the park Saturday morning at 10—will culminate with the annual Saucon Valley Spirit Parade and the 4-County Fireman's Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Dozens of fire trucks and emergency vehicles from municipalities throughout Northampton, Lehigh, Carbon and Monroe counties will be part of the parade.
"The parade is going to be unbelievable," said Saucon Valley Spirit chairman Dave Heintzelman, noting that it will include five full divisions, plus a dignitary division.
Heintzelman spoke about some of the other things local residents can and should expect this weekend at an organizing meeting held Tuesday.
For starters, residents should know that the parade route will be the same as last year's, meaning north-south traffic will be detoured onto Front Street between Walnut and Water streets while Main Street (Route 412) is closed.
Temporary barricades will go up along the parade route at about 1:15 p.m., and Heintzelman issued a reminder to motorists to refrain from moving the barricades once they are in place.
Lineup for the start of the parade will be along Walnut Street next to the Saucon Valley School District campus between noon and 1 p.m.
Due to the number of participants expected in this year's expanded parade, spectators and participants are being asked to carpool to the staging and viewing areas, if possible.
Parking for parade participants will be available in the high school parking lot after noon on Sunday, and overflow general parking will be available on the Reinhard School lot at Northampton Street and Magnolia Drive throughout the weekend.
In addition to the fire trucks from as far away as Lake Harmony and Lehighton, another highlight of the parade will be appearances by the Philadelphia Police & Fire Pipes & Drums and the Hegman String Band—of Mummers Parade fame.
Heintzelman said parking on Tobias Drive will be temporarily prohibited during the parade to accommodate the many participating fire trucks once they complete the route.
The judges stand—where Stanley "Bud" Prosser will once again emcee the parade—will be located next to Saucon Manor, at Northampton and Water streets.
Service Electric TV2 cameras will be set up on Main Street across from Heintzelman Funeral Home, where they will televise the event, Heintzelman said.
"I think this (parade) is really going to show the true colors of the community," he told the many volunteers at Tuesday's meeting.
Some of the other highlights of the weekend will be:
- A beer tent at Dewey Fire Co., where Coors Light, Sam Adams and root or birch beer will be sold in plastic cups and souvenir mugs. Beer will be permitted in Dimmick Park during this weekend's special events, but will not be allowed outside of the park. Beer will only be sold in the mugs and cups provided at the beer tent.
- A special 30-minute concert performance by the Hegman String Band at the conclusion of the parade, while judges are tallying their results.
- The Miller Bloodmobile will be parked at the Dimmick Park flagpole on Saturday morning for a blood drive.
- Rides and amusements at Dewey Fire Co.
Friday, Oct. 18
6 to 8 p.m., Saucon Valley Spirit Dance Kick-Off, Saucon Valley Community Center, 323 Northampton St., Hellertown. Open to all. For tickets and information, call 610-838-0722.
Saturday, Oct. 19
10 a.m., Spirit Weekend opening ceremonies and rededication of Dimmick Park/Dewey Fire Co., Dimmick Park bandshell, Hellertown.
10 a.m., Start of Bike Challenge, 5K Run/2-Mile Walk, Motorcycle Poker Run, Car/Truck Show, Dimmick Park, Hellertown
1 p.m., Coach & Vera Bradley Bingo - SOLD OUT
6 p.m., Allentown Band Concert, Dimmick Park (free admission)
8 p.m., Celebrity Fireworks Display, Dimmick Park (blankets and seats may be placed on the designated fields after 10 a.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 20
10 a.m., Antique Fire Truck Show, Dimmick Park
10:30 a.m., Hellertown Area Ministerium church service and Blessing of the Fire Trucks, Dimmick Park (under the tent)
Noon to 1 p.m., lineup for the Saucon Valley Spirit Parade, Walnut Street near the Saucon Valley School District campus, Hellertown
2 p.m., Saucon Valley Spirit Parade/4-County Fireman's Parade
Immediately following the parade: Hegman String Band concert and 4-County Fireman's Parade Award Ceremony (under the tent)
For additional information about the weekend, visit the SV Spirit website.
Photo: Spectators line Hellertown's Water Street during the 2012 Saucon Valley Spirit Parade.