Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Allen USA ignites the skies with fire and song on June 29
Musical guests include Disney teen star Dylan Snyder and headliner, Styx frontman, Dennis DeYoung.
Allen Allen is preparing for its biggest event of the year.
Allen USA, the city's annual community festival, will be held Saturday, June 29 at Celebration Park, and it will feature food, games, live music and one of the area's biggest fireworks shows. The festival will begin at 4 p.m. and culminate with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. choreographed to a mix of patriotic and pop music.
Last year, it drew an estimated 85,000 people.
“Which is crazy,” said Jeff Mues, senior marketing coordinator with Allen parks and recreation department. “That's basically the population of Allen.”
The event serves as the city's Fourth of July celebration. It's the first of its kind around the area – held annually the last Saturday of June – and that allows it to accommodate residents planning summer vacations.
“They can still come here and see the fireworks and have the whole Fourth of July experience on a big scale,” Mues said. “Then they're still free to have their travel plans. That's been a big part of the growth and success of the event, I think.”
Allen began holding the festival in 1995, when it drew 5,000 people and was held at Bethany Lakes Park. As the event grew, it moved to a larger venue at Allen Station Park before settling at Celebration Park in 2003, where it has drawn more than 65,000 people annually.
Live music is among the attractions that keep people returning. This year's setlist includes The Emerald City Band and headliner Dennis DeYoung, a founding member of Styx and the band's lead vocalist and keyboardist. Disney star Dylan Snyder, who is in the series Kickin' It, will also perform and take part in a meet-and-greet with fans.
The festival will also feature a kid's area with games, rides, crafts and more than 20 inflatables. It will include a zone specifically for toddlers. Tickets will be required for many of the kids activities and will be sold by the pair for $1. Wristbands for unlimited use will be sold for $25 the day of the event or for $20 in advance.
The city is also orchestrating a set of free events that include balloon artists and a community mural featuring military personnel, medical professionals, police and other public service workers that children of all ages can color.
“We devote a lot of resources to [Allen USA], and we're very proud that we're able to offer an event of that magnitude as a free, community event,” Mues said.
Mues said the city has been able to keep it a free event because of community support and sponsors like title sponsor Market Street and presenting sponsor Texas Health – Allen. The Allen American is also a sponsor of the event.
A shuttle service to the event from Allen High School will be offered. Visitors can bring lawn chairs and coolers to the event but alcohol is not allowed. The city is also urging festival goers not to bring their dogs because of expected high temperatures, crowds and high noise levels.
For more information, visit cityofallen.org.
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