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Parades, fireworks still part of holiday

6/24/2010 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

While the city of Fairlawn canceled its annual Fourth of July fireworks show (shown last year), area residents still will have opportunities to see fireworks this Independence Day holiday.
Photo: Ken Love
GREATER AKRON — If you gotta get that boom, boom, boom during the upcoming July Fourth holiday, there’s still a few opportunities in the Akron area.

While Fairlawn has cut its Independence Day fireworks and parade and Akron is offering a scaled-down version of its annual show, Akron area residents will still find pyrotechnic displays as residents gather to celebrate the nation’s 234th birthday. And neighborhood parades still are on the schedule throughout the area.

Activities will begin this weekend and continue next week. Because July 4 is a Sunday, July 5 is a legal holiday.

Here is information on some Northeast Ohio events.


• The Rib, White & Blue Food Festival kicks off with activities on South Main Street and Lock 3 Park in Downtown Akron July 1-4. The four-day festival will feature barbecue vendors from around the country, including Texas and Tennessee, as well as music, inflatables and rides. The Magical Train also will be available for rides along the canal. The festival will open July 1-3 at 11 a.m. and at noon on July 4. This year, admission is free every day.

Musical entertainment at Lock 3 Park July 1 will begin at 7 p.m. with Blood, Sweat and Beers and Led Zeppelin tribute band Zoso. On July 2, Electric Mudd will begin playing at 7 p.m., followed by ZZ Top tribute band Sharp Dressed Men. On July 3, Alex Bevan will perform at 3:30 p.m., followed by Zach at 5:30 p.m. and Eagles tribute band Hotel California at 3:30 p.m.

Taking the stage July 4 will be The Akron and District Pipe Band at 3:30 p.m. and the Brass Band of the Western Reserve at 5:30 p.m. At 8 p.m., the Akron Symphony Orchestra Pops will perform a tribute to U.S. Armed Forces plus Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, complete with booming cannons and a fireworks finale presented by Akron General Medical Center.

According to city officials, the fireworks show will be scaled down from previous years, when pyrotechnics lit up the sky over the Akron Innerbelt. But the show still is expected to be a crowd-pleaser.

“We are very proud to participate in this year’s Fourth of July activities,” said Dr. Jack Mitstifer, president of inpatient services at Akron General. “We hope everyone enjoys the show.”

Activities will conclude at 11 p.m. July 1-3 and after the fireworks show July 4.

For details on Akron’s events, go to www.lock3live.com.

West Akron

• On June 27, the Hereford/ Highland Area Block Watch will host the annual Hereford/ Highland Square Parade. Children are encouraged to decorate their bikes and scooters or create a float for the event. Prizes will be awarded for best decorations. Registration and lining up for participants will begin at 1:45 p.m. at Hereford Park. The parade will begin at 2 p.m.

• The Castle Park area will host its annual Fourth of July Parade July 4 at 10:30 a.m. on Castle Boulevard. The parade will step off at the intersection of Dartmouth Avenue and Castle. Registration will take place from 10 to 10:25 a.m. There is a 50-cent registration fee for participants. Certificates and prizes will be awarded for the most patriotically creative in the following categories: Bikes and Trikes, Wagons and Strollers, Walkers and Rollerbladers, and Best Dressed Pet. All Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and U.S. veterans also are invited to march in the parade. Neighborhood residents are encouraged to line the sidewalk on Castle between Dartmouth and Garman Road to view the parade. The parade will not march past Dartmouth. For details, call Lindsey Michel at 330-806-0468.


• Public Square in Downtown Cleveland will be filled with the music of the Cleveland Orchestra July 1 for the 21st annual free Star Spangled Spectacular Concert and Festival. A preconcert festival of musical entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. with a diverse lineup of Cleveland-area youth performing arts groups appearing, leading up to the 9 p.m. orchestra concert. Conductor Tito Muñoz will perform a program of popular favorites from Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and John Williams, as well as a salute to U.S. Armed Forces. The concert will culminate with Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture and will be followed by a fireworks display, weather permitting. For additional information, go to www.clevelandorchestra.com.

• Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, invites visitors to have a “Red, White & Zoo” holiday. On July 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the zoo will feature admission discounts, patriotic music and holiday-themed animal activities. Anyone who wears red, white and/or blue to the zoo that day will receive $2 off admission — making admission $8 per person, $5 for children ages 2-11 and free for children younger than 2 and zoo members. Throughout the day, animal keepers will prepare red, white and blue treats for some of the zoo’s animals, including primates and bears. Other highlights include Get Close Animal Encounters and a self-guided tour of the zoo’s red, white and blue animals. For details, visit clemetzoo.com or call 216-661-6500.

• Progressive Field, 2401 Ontario St., will feature patriotic fireworks following the July 2 and 3 Cleveland Indians games. The Indians will take on the Oakland A’s at 7:05 p.m. both nights. For more information, go to www.cleveland.indians.mlb.com.

Cuyahoga Falls

• The Blossom Festival Band will kick off its 2010 season over the holiday weekend on three evenings at Blossom Music Center, 1145 Steels Corners Road, July 2-4. On the first night, starting at 8:30 p.m., American Spectacular will feature the music of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein as well as Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture. On July 3-4, starting at 8 p.m., Loras John Schissel will conduct A Salute to the USA, also featuring Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, followed by fireworks (weather permitting). The concerts also will include a salute to U.S. Armed Forces and Sousa marches. Tickets range in price from $15 to $83 for adults. Free children’s lawn passes are available, allowing up to two children to be admitted free to the concerts with each paid adult admission.

Tickets can be purchased at the Blossom Box Office, by calling 800-686-1141 or by visiting www.clevelandorchestra.com.


• Budget cuts forced the city of Fairlawn to hold off on its annual fireworks and Independence Day parade. Still, the community will hold a Park Parade at Croghan Park on Miller Road July 1 for children. Participants may bring their bikes and wagons to the park starting at 1 p.m. A limited amount of decorations will be available for children to use. The parade will begin at 2:30 p.m., winding around the park. In case of rain, the parade will take place July 2 at the same time. The free event is open to the public. For more information, call 330-668-9515.

Portage Lakes

• Activities on the lakes take place the next two weekends. The Portage Lakes Antique Boat Show is on June 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Olde Harbor Inn and Hook, Line & Drinkers docks. Call Walt Stashkiw at 330-644-4970 for more information. That night, Light up the Lakes will feature a parade of lighted boats. Boats will line up at 9:30 p.m. in the cove by Mariners Pointe, and the parade will go by the Olde Harbor Inn and Hook, Line & Drinkers, ending at Dietz’s Restaurant and Upper Deck.

During the Fourth of July weekend, activities will continue with the 35th annual Boat Parade, which will take place July 3 at 1 p.m., forming at Kieffer’s Marine on East Reservoir. The parade will end at Portage Lakes State Park Beach. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best-decorated boats. Following the parade, a sand castle building contest will take place on the beach, with cash prizes awarded to the best structures.

The 25th annual Portage Lakes fireworks display will take place July 3. Fireworks will be shot from Mason’s Point on Turkeyfoot Lake. WKDD will simulcast music to the event. The rain date is July 4. According to organizers, the Portage Lakes fireworks are the largest privately funded fireworks in the state. Donations to support the show can be sent to P.O. Box 26923, Akron, OH 44319. Donations also can be made at www.portagelakes.com.

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