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Published: 6/9/2010

Oregon, German society unite to spark 4th of July Boomfest

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

As other communities are curtailing their Independence Day celebrations, Oregon and the German-American Festival Society are teaming up with sponsors to put on a July Fourth festival with fireworks, bands, and other entertainment.

Boomfest at Oak Shade Grove in Oregon will have a $15,000 fireworks show, featuring illuminations in the air and on the ground. BP-Husky Refining LLC volunteered to pay for the fireworks, and the headline band is the Websters from Cincinnati, Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said.

Next year, if all goes well, the city hopes to repeat the July Fourth festivities and perhaps have a concert event at Oak Shade Grove, Mr. Seferian said.

"We always had a lot of discussions with people saying we don't have things here to do," said the mayor, adding he hopes other area residents will attend Boomfest too.

Especially welcome, Mr. Seferian said, are residents of Springfield Township, which tried to raise funds for its annual fireworks show. Waterville and Bowling Green both have canceled their fireworks displays because of cost.

Oregon, which had displayed fireworks on city grounds, hopes to break even on its Boomfest expenses with support from sponsors, Mr. Seferian said. Oak Shade Grove, home to the annual German-American Festival, has a better venue for people to enjoy the day's festivities, he said.

The German-American Festival Society has considered having a July Fourth celebration for a couple of years, and officials contacted the mayor - who also was having discussions within the city - about it several months ago, the society's John Whitt, chairman of Boomfest, said.

"It's just evolved from there," he said.

Boomfest will begin at 2 p.m. July 4 with a car show featuring 400 custom or antique rides and other activities, Mr. Whitt said.

There will be tournaments for adults, such as horseshoes and cornhole, as well as games for children, he said.

The three or four bands include the Websters and Johnny Reed & The Houserockers, Mr. Seferian said. Fireworks will be held after dark, probably about 10 or 10:30 p.m. on July 4, he said.

GAF will be selling food and beverages, including domestic and imported beer, Mr. Whitt said. Most food will be offered by other vendors, including Yeehas Buckin' Bar & Grill, Luckie's Barn & Grill, and the Toledo Swiss Ladies Society, he said.



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