Six little girls will light up the stage on Thursday, July 3, during the annual Little Miss Firecracker Pageant.

Six little girls will light up the stage on Thursday, July 3, during the annual Little Miss Firecracker Pageant.

Sponsored by the American Legion Post 254 and the Fourth of July Committee, the event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Johnstown Performing Arts Center.

This year's theme is "Summer Weekends in the Country" and will feature the song "Bob That Head" by country music group Rascal Flatts, according to pageant coordinator Colleen Vicroy.

This year's contestants are twins Payton and Madison Ausbrooks, 4, daughters of Alica Etter; Bailey Stranges, 4, daughter of Joshua and Holly Stranges; Daylyn Merkle , 6, daughter of Bryan and Kathy Merkle; Breanna McCombs, 6, daughter of Shawn and Stephanie McCombs; and Elise McClelland, 6, daughter of Rick and Shelley McClelland.

The contestants will be judged based on the categories of talent, modeling and interview, Vicroy said.

Throughout the pageant, those attending will be entertained by 2007 Little Miss Firecracker Alisha Sloan, 7, daughter of Mike and Tara Sloan. Additional entertainment will be provided by 2008 Miss Johnstown Brianna Warner.

The pageant is free, but those attending are asked to bring at least one food item for the Johnstown-Northridge Food Pantry.

American Legion Commander Don Jakeway said Post 254 and the Fourth of July Committee will once again sponsor fireworks on July 4, beginning at dusk.

"There will be a short program at the football stadium, starting at 8 p.m,. prior to the fireworks," he said. "We'll have the concession stand open with a variety of food. Hamburg Fireworks Factory from Lancaster will have the show again."

During the Fourth of July program, Citizen of the Year Lee Wright will be recognized, as will Jim Foster, Legionnaire of the Year.

"Lee graduated from Johnstown in the 1950s," Jakeway said. "He started the Wright Car Wash on 62, and he later sold it to his son. He's married to Joann and they have five children. He and his wife have always supported the American Legion with Toys for Tots and the egg hunt. He's at all the athletic events."

Foster, the legion's adjunct, graduated in 1942 from Johnstown. He is retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"He still farms, even though he's retired," Jakeway said.

Musical entertainment is planned prior to the fireworks display, he said.

In case of rain on July 4, the fireworks will be postponed to July 5.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com