Fireworks explode over the Maumee River during the Red, White, KABOOM fireworks display during Independence Day festivities last year in downtown Toledo.
No Fourth of July celebration is complete without fireworks. Truly. Historical facts certify that statement.
In an often-read letter to his wife, Abigail, which is stored in the National Archives, second president John Adams wrote about Independence Day: “It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other ...”
In that era, people called fireworks “illuminations.” People across the United States continue the tradition today, and the people of Toledo are no exception.
Here in Toledo, The Blade is presenting its sixth annual Red, White, KABOOM fireworks show on Friday and it is sure to cause some ripples across the Maumee River.
The events begin at 6 p.m. on both sides of the river. International Park is designated as the family area and will be alcohol free. Promenade Park will offer hot dogs and hamburgers as well as beer and other beverages. Food trucks will be at both parks.
Returning to the event this year is The Jamm Band, featuring Bruce Sims. They will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
No coolers or pets will be allowed. The event will benefit Imagination Station and admission is free.
Michael Mori, the director of sales at The Blade, said that he has driven past the parks and the grass looks great. “The city did a great job sprucing it up,” he said.
The Toledo Police and Fire Departments, the sponsors, Taylor Automotive Group and Humana, and all participating vendors and organizations really come together for this event to help put it on, Mr. Mori said.
“They understand how important it is for Toledo families to attend major events like this,” said Mr. Mori. “It isn't to make money, but to help the community.”
The main event, the fireworks show put on by Pyrotecnico, will begin at 10 p.m. The fireworks will be accompanied by a synchronized soundtrack on radio station WXKR-FM 94.5.
In the past, crowds have reached up to nearly 80,000 people, so everyone is encouraged to show up early to get a good seat to watch the sparks fly. The fireworks are budgeted at around $50,000.
Of course, Toledo is not the only city with festive celebrations. Here is a list of events that surrounding communities have to offer:
Bowling Green — Tonight at 8, Bowling Green Area Community Band will perform near Mileti Alumni Center at Bowling Green State University. Fireworks start at dusk at BGSU‘s Intramural Fields near Doyt Perry Stadium.
Findlay — Hancock County Fairgrounds festivities will be held today from 4 to 11 p.m. at 1017 E Sandusky St. Gospel singing begins at 5 p.m., a rock band begins at 7 p.m., and fireworks start at 10 p.m. Food vendors will be present and admission is free. The rain day is scheduled for Friday. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Friday on Main Street downtown.
Fremont — The “Rockin’ in the USA” Parade will take place at 10 a.m. Friday. The one-mile parade route will start at Birchard Library, proceed down Paseo Padre Parkway, and end on Liberty Street. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. at Walsh Park, 754 Morrison St.
Luna Pier — There will be garage sales on Saturday followed by the fireworks show, which will begin at dusk at Luna Pier on Lakewood Ave.
A group of girls stand on a mound at Fort Meigs to watch the fireworks during the Star Spangled Banner celebration last year in Perrysburg.
Maumee — The Annual Community Pre-Fireworks Picnic in the 100 block of E. Wayne St. will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today. There will be food, live music, and children‘s activities. The Independence Day fireworks celebration will begin at approximately 10 p.m. and will be launched from the center of the Maumee-Perrysburg Bridge. The rain date is scheduled for Friday.
Monroe — The 17th Annual River Raisin Independence Festival and Fireworks will be held today at 9:45 p.m. over Lake Erie at Sterling State Park, 2800 State Park Rd. There will be music, concessions, and games throughout the day before the fireworks show.
Oregon — Boomfest will take place on Friday at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd. The Cruisin’ the Grove Car Show will be from 2 - 6 p.m. Live entertainment will start at 5 p.m. with performances by Berlin featuring Terri Nunn, KGB Motown Band, and Arctic Clam band. There will be food, drinks, and activities for adults and children. Free entry and parking will be available.
Perrysburg — The Star Spangled Banner Celebration will be today at Fort Meigs State Memorial Park, 29100 W. River Rd. There will be a recreation of the original 1813 Independence Day with an 18-gun national salute at 2 p.m. From 3 p.m. to midnight, there will be a children‘s carnival, a musical performance by Cindly Slee and Aaron Keaster, games, and food. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. Admission is free.
Port Clinton — Festivities will take place throughout the day on Friday. The Star Spangled Squirt Gun Run/Walk 5K will begin at 8 a.m. at Jefferson Street Pavilion. At 3 p.m., there will be a Classic Car Show in the 100 Block of Adams St. There will also be an Ice Cream, Pie, and Hot Dog Social and the Firecracker Cutie Contest at Trinity United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. The Voices of Freedom Concert will begin at 7 p.m. The Family Dance Party will be at 8 p.m. The day ends with the fireworks show at 10 p.m. at Water Works Park.
Swanton — Fireworks will be Saturday at dusk at Swanton High School, 601 N. Main St. Parking, seating, and concessions will be available at the high school. The rain day is schedule for Sunday.
Sylvania — The Star Spangled Celebration will be from 7 p.m. to midnight today at Centennial Terrace, 5773 Centennial Rd. There will be live music, dancing, clowns, children’s activities, food, and drinks. Fireworks will be at 10 p.m. with accompanying music from 93.5 FM-WRQN - Rock and Roll Oldies. Admission is $5 and $3 for children ages 12 and under. Parking is $5 per car. Fireworks can also be viewed from Sylvania Pacesetter Park, 8801 Sylvania-Metamora Rd.
Wauseon — On Friday, there will be music and entertainment in Dorothy Biddle Park from 4 to 10 p.m. Registration will start at 4 p.m. to enter a corn hole tournament. A Beer Garden will also be set up and will open at 4 p.m. Local band Sugar Frog will play from 8 to 10 p.m. before the fireworks show begins at 10 p.m. Inflatables will be set up for children and concessions of drinks and snacks will be available.
Whitehouse — The Village of Whitehouse will host its Sesquicentennial Celebration to celebrate its 150th birthday on Saturday in Village Park from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be a parade at 10 a.m. Throughout the day, there will be food vendors, live music, an antique car and tractor show, 1864 re-enactments, and a pie baking contest. From 1 to 5 p.m. there will be horse and carriage rides. A singing contest will be held at 2 p.m. The fireworks show begins at 10 p.m.