Jul. 3—NANTICOKE — In lieu of the typical red, white and blue attire worn by most everybody else at Saturday's "Big Bang" holiday celebration, Hunter Walts had a getup that symbolized America just as much as the colors of the flag.
Walts, 12 but about to turn 13, was dressed as a hot dog.
"My mom and stepdad are selling hotdogs," Walts said, gesturing to their tent situated across the LCCC parking lot.
The costume didn't prevent Walts from having the time of his life at the City of Nanticoke's annual Fourth of July celebration, which kicked off at 2 p.m. Saturday and included food, games and the traditional fireworks display after dark.
The almost 13-year-old rode the giant inflatable slide, attended to by the Faith Church, 13 times to symbolize his coming birthday.
Pastor Maureen Gregory said that her church's station, which also included face painting and popcorn, had grown from the previous year.
"Last year we were here, but there were only two of us," Gregory said. "We want to be here supporting the community, it's very important to our church."
Dating back at least seven years by the count of Nanticoke Mayor Kevin Coughlin, the Big Bang Fourth of July celebration has become one of the city's favorite traditions, and with gorgeous weather and plenty to do on Saturday, it was easy to see why.
A trio of bands kept the party rocking from open until close, starting with the Husty Brothers from 2 to 4 p.m., followed by The Tyme Band at 4 p.m. and Mellifluous closing out the entertainment from 6 to 8 p.m., leading into the night's fireworks extragavanza.
Around the lot, there were an endless amount of food options, with pierogies, barbecue, ice cream and all sorts of good eats on the menu.
One of the city's newest businesses, Gene and Jay's Hot Dogs, set up shop for their first Big Bang event; it was this business that young Hunter Walts was representing with his hot dog suit.
Hunter's mother, Theresa, explained that the restaurant had opened in February and that they were off to a good start, both at Saturday's celebration and in general.
"Today's been good so far, we expect it will get a lot busier later on," she said. "Nanticoke has been good to us."
The celebration also featured a few vendors and a big basket raffle.
Coughlin was pleased with the turnout and pleased with the work done to make this year's Big Bang celebration another big success.
"It's terrific, the weather has cooperated and we've had a lot of good help from our council and our city workers," Coughlin said. "It's a great day."