Garden City Fourth of July

Pennsylvania was home to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and had the most signatories of the document. As they wrote in 1776,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

There are a number of events around Garden City to celebrate the 4th in a manner most likely to effect your Safety and Happiness. The main events in Wallingford itself are at the pools. Crowds gather for a full day of games, music, activities and food throughout the day at Creekside and Wallingford Swim Club. There’s activities for all ages throughout the day.

From the Chester Times, July 6, 1896

Three of the boroughs nearby also hold events, some with long histories. In 1896 Swarthmore held a parade that was “appropriate” and “much enjoyed”. There was music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, lunch and a variety of events such as a bicycle race won, 100 yard dash, a shuffleboard contest, an interesting quote contest, a tennis tournament, a drawing contest and then another bicycle race. The event lasted the whole day ending with the prizes awarded at 8 pm.

The modern Swarthmore 4th of July events continue in a similar manner. Information about the event is available at the borough’s website with bicycle races, parades, horseshoes and fire company demonstrations.

Media’s event also dates back quite a while. In 1924 they held an event that was, according to the newspaper, “not marred by any serious accident” and citizens “entered into the spirit of an observance of Independence Day in a safe and sane manner”, which leads one to wonder what had happened previously. The event began with aquatic sports in Broomall’s Lake and continued with sporting displays and fireworks on the aviation grounds. The band of the Philadelphia Navy Yard played throughout the day and the afternoon program included a base ball game and a recitation of the Declaration of Independence by a recent high school graduate dressed as Uncle Sam.

This year’s Media celebrations include a day of “food, fun an entertainment” with a waterslide, games and a bike decorating contest. More information is available on the borough’s website.

Rose Valley also holds an annual parade, but there’s less information available about it and it has rarely made the news.

The fireworks to see in Garden City are the ones in Chester Park around 9 pm. These can be seen from the fields along Ridley Dr., or you can take a short walk across to the fields on the other side of Chester Park.

Categories: Events, History