PITTSBURGH (KDKA)–Thousands will pack Point State Park today as we celebrate the 4th of July.

Festivities got started around noon and last until the fireworks tonight.

If you are coming, expect security. They will be doing bag checks tonight at 6 p.m.  They want everyone to have a safe and fun time.

RELATED STORY:

Before the rockets red glare tonight at 9:35 p.m., Point State Park will be bustling with activity celebrating the birthday of our nation.

The Fort Pitt Museum will host living history in the shadow of “Old Glory.”

“Remember it was only about 250 years ago this nation began as an idea where everybody had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Heinz History Center President Dr. Andy Masich said.

Concessions and kid zone activities will run until 9:30 p.m.

Event organizer John Bonassi says some of the newer events this year focus on patriotism.

There will be an army swearing-in ceremony  and a flyover.

“We have an army drill team down there. They have to be on a hard surface because they click the heels and click the rifles,” Three Rivers Regatta Chairman John Bonassi told KDKA.

They hope families are able to create new memories on this sunny July day and hope they walk away understanding the importance of today’s holiday.

“That’s what it’s all about. Just creating memories,” Three Rivers Regatta Vice Chair Thea Martin said.  “I was out of town growing up but we came here for the 4th of July to see the fireworks.”

Then, there will be fireworks.

The event director Derek Weber of the LionHeart Event Group says there will be four barges about 1,000 feet off of The Point with tens of thousands fireworks to light up the sky. Weber says it should be one of the best shows in the country.

“I’m a Pittsburgher myself. I take it personal. It means a lot to me to produce this 4th of July event for the city, said Weber.

Bonassi says it takes about 12 months to plan this all out so they are already planning next year’s 4th of July event before this one is wrapped up.

If you are parking downtown, here’s a list of free places to park.