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Fireworks and more at Point State Park July 4
Our nation’s independence was celebrated in grand style for the Fourth of July holiday at the newly renovated Point State Park in Pittsburgh.

Governor Tom Corbett helped to fire an 18th century replica cannon housed at the Fort Pitt Museum at the park to officially begin the more than 20-minute “Fireworks Fantasia” on July 4.

A six-person crew of colonial re-enactors assisted in firing a blank round in the 600-pound cannon, which was made entirely in Western Pennsylvania. During the French and Indian War, guns like this were used at Fort Pitt against French and Indian enemies, and during the Revolution colonists used them against the British Empire.

The pyrotechnic show over the park is shot from barges anchored in the city’s renowned river confluence and against its magnificent skyline.

The display and other activities were part of the 36th annual Three River Regatta running July 2-4.

During the regatta, 160 tons of sand were transformed by sand sculptors into a 12-foot scene titled "America's Pioneering Spirit." After it was dismantled, the sand from the sculpture is being donated to replenish the swimming beach at Raccoon Creek State Park.

In June, the iconic fountain was turned back on at Point State Park, completing a more than six-year, multi-million dollar renovation of the park that hosts more than 3 million visitors annually. The state committed a total of $32 million in capital budget money to renovations throughout the park.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has added a full-time park manager and staff; an environmental educator; a concessionaire for food at the park; and coordinates programming at the park with the Fort Pitt Museum and Block House.

Point State Park, a National Historic Landmark, commemorates the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War. It’s situated where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River, an area highly contested between British and French armies in the 1700s.

By the 1950s, the area had deteriorated into a commercial slum. The construction of Point State Park was one of the key accomplishments of Pittsburgh's first Renaissance urban renewal initiative.

For more information about the park and its programs, visit here.

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July 10, 2013

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