Lehighton borough is planning its first ever Fourth of July extravaganza.

John C. Wagner, borough manager and a coordinator of the celebration, said most of the activities will occur at Baer Memorial Park in Lehighton.

A parade will be held on Sunday, July 4, with Major General Marvin J. "Jay" Barry and his wife, Christine, serving as grand marshalls.

There will be fireworks, carnival rides, concessions, and live entertainment.

The festival is being co-sponsored by the borough and the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee (LDIC).

A meeting for planning the event will be held at 6 p.m. today at Baer Memorial Park.

As a prelude to the festival, there will be auditions for vocalists to sing "God Bless America" with professional performer Donna Parsons to open the fireworks display on July 4.

The auditions will be held on Thursday, June 3, 7-9:30 p.m. in the borough council chambers in the municipal building.

Individuals interested in auditioning should contact Mike Stanley at Royal Jam Music Academy for times.

Stanley can be reached at admin@royaljam.com or by telephone at (610) 377-6898. Auditions will be without accompaniment.

The festival will help raise funds to provide a budget for the LDIC to implement a downtown revitalization plan that the borough plans to have done this year.

The study is to direct the redevelopment of commercial districts within the borough, including State Routes 209, 443, and all intersecting streets within one block of those state highways, Wagner said.

There will be amusement rides at the festival on July 4, but not on July 3.

The rides are being provided by Metz Amusements and Concessions of Wind Gap, with Metz having a prior commitment for July 3.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. leaving from the municipal building.

The tentative route is to proceed on Second to Iron, Iron to Fourth, Fourth to Bridge, and Bridge to the Community Grove.

The schedule of events is as follows:

July 3

Ÿ Classic/antique/cruiser car show, sponsored by the Juke Box Cruisers.

Ÿ Motorcycle Poker Run, arranged by The Bike Shoppe, Lehighton.

Registration is at the Bike Shop.

The course will originate at Baer Memorial Park and return to Baer Memorial.

Ÿ Contests at Lehighton Municipal Pool.

July 4

Ÿ 1 p.m. - Parade leaves Municipal Building.

Ÿ Great Lehighton Race - a spinoff of the "Amazing Race."

Ÿ Contests at Baer Memorial Pool.

Ÿ 6 p.m. - Concert by Beyond Bach conducted by Maestro Randall Perry.

Ÿ 7 p.m. - Address by parade grand marshals Major General Marvin J. "Jay" Barry and his wife Christine.

Ÿ 7:15-10 p.m. - Concert by Donna Parsons.

Ÿ 10 p.m. - Concert by winner of Vocal Talent Contest, who will sing "God Bless America" with Donna Parsons.

Ÿ 10 p.m. - Fireworks.

Ÿ 10:20 p.m. - Closing concert by Donna Parsons.