Bethel Park will bring back fireworks and a Fourth of July celebration, albeit a few days early this year.
The municipality is planning an event June 30 at Millennium Park, featuring a performance from the Pittsburgh rock band No Bad JuJu and a fireworks display at dusk. The event will have festivities all day, with several food and drink vendors, including two microbreweries, along with a petting zoo and other activities for children and adults.
“It’s going to be a good time,” municipal nanager Shawn Arbaugh said at the council’s April 9 meeting.
Bethel Park stopped sponsoring a fireworks display about two years ago, when it lost its launch site and could not find a suitable replacement site. For decades, the fireworks were set off at Port Authority property near South Hills Village, but an apartment complex now sits on that site.
Millennium Park cannot support a huge fireworks display due to logistical and safety concerns. That means those who want to watch the show will probably have to be at the park, Arbaugh said. To alleviate parking issues, the municipality will have shuttle buses that will transport people from the Bethel Park High School parking lot to the park.
Council also agreed to apply for several grants that may help pay for its multi-year plan to revamp the parks in Bethel Park.
The municipality will focus on Village Green Park this summer, since council awarded last month more than $900,000 in contracts for work there. Workers will install artificial turf to the athletic field and form a smaller, natural grass field nearby. The restrooms at Village Green may also be renovated over the summer.
In future years, municipal leaders hope to make improvements to Millennium Park, the play area on Park Avenue and the Montour Trail.
Council applied for grant funding through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to build a new baseball field at Millennium Park. The new field will replace the one on Park Avenue, which will be eliminated to make way for a splash park and playground for young children. Plans for the Millennium Park field call for an artificial turf infield.
Council also applied for money through the county’s Gaming Economic Development program for a restroom and changing area at the Park Avenue recreation area that will be useful once the municipality builds a splash pad there. Council applied for a grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development to help pay for that improvement. The splash pad is a fountain for children to play in and cool off in the summer.
Council also applied for money through Active Allegheny Grant Program for engineering and design work associated with building a Montour Trail connection through municipal property on Brightwood Road and through the Lytle Station parking lot. Montour Trail Council wants to build a connection from Irishtown to Millennium Park, Arbaugh said.