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Published: Friday, 6/30/2006

Fireworks, food, tall ships part of area celebrations

BY BENJAMIN ALEXANDER-BLOCH AND CARIN YAVORCIK
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Thousands will watch fireworks along the Maumee River near downtown Toledo.
Thousands will watch fireworks along the Maumee River near downtown Toledo.
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Sandusky and Toledo will be hosts for big Independence Day celebrations.

Three tall ships by the dawn s early light will be docked in Sandusky s Meigs Street Pier tomorrow to so proudly hail the July 4 weekend. They sail in today at 4 p.m. in a parade.

The Journey is a 65-foot schooner, and the Madeline is a 92-foot reconstruction of a 1845 Great Lakes cargo schooner.

The Sawmill Explorer, originally called the Dispatch, rode regularly from Sandusky to Cedar Point between 1954 and 1974, according to Neil Allen, director of the Sandusky Maritime Museum.

Schooners, nicknamed tall ships because of their tall masts, are technically boats with two or more masts, whose forward mast is shorter or the same height as its rear masts.

In their heyday of the late 1800s, more than 2,000 schooners carried cargo and passengers across the Great Lakes.

They re back in action this weekend, providing half-hour cruises in the Sandusky Bay.

Ship tours and rides will be given 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow through Tuesday, and fireworks will be Tuesday at dusk along the Sandusky waterfront.

Boarding passes for the ships are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

The festival, expected to cost $30,000, is sponsored by the Sandusky Maritime Museum, the City of Sandusky, the Sandusky Parks, Recreation and Horticultural Services Department, and the Erie County Visitor and Convention Center.

In Toledo, the sky will explode over the Maumee River on Tuesday.

The Pharm Lights the Night is touted as the biggest fireworks display in northwest Ohio. It begins about 10 p.m.

Curtis Slough, special events manager for Citifest, Inc., which organizes the event, said the show will last for about 20 minutes.

We ve got an awesome sound track by WIOT [-FM (104.7)] that will be simulcast, he added.

Thousands of people will be sighing their oohs and ahhs along the riverbanks. Mr. Slough said the large crowds are one of the reasons people come back year after year.

He expects 50,000 to 75,000 people to attend.

Last year, the celebration hosted a beer garden for the first time. There were no problems last year, Mr. Slough said, so they ll serve alcohol again this year.

The party gets started about 1 p.m. In Promenade Park there will be music and food all day, with local band the Nu-Tones headlining the show.

FamilyFest at Festival Park, on the waterfront next to COSI, will have rides, games and other children s activities. This year, the festival will also feature Flumpa Live and Friends, a musical science show for children. Performances will be at 2, 4 and 6 p.m.

Below is a listing of some other Independence Day events in northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. All events are on Tuesday unless otherwise noted:

Adrian: Parade, 10 a.m., from West Maumee Street to Dean Street, ending at the Lenawee County Fairgrounds where there will be food, a fair, and fireworks at dusk.

Bowling Green: Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. at the BGSU Stadium intramural fields, near the Ice Arena.

Bryan: Kiwanis club breakfast, 7 to 11 a.m., in the hangar of the Williams County Airport. Rides on planes offered.

Clyde: Games and music all day Sunday at Community Park, and fireworks at dusk.

Defiance: Fireworks at dusk tomorrow at Kingsbury Park.

Dundee, Mich.: Parade at 1 p.m. starting at Dundee High School.

Findlay: 1840s-style celebration, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Litzenberg Memorial Woods on U.S. 224 west of Findlay. Costumed re-enactors, period music, games. Monday: Bands, rides, food vendors at 4 p.m. followed by fireworks at dusk at Hancock County Fairgrounds.

Fremont: Parade at 5 p.m. from Birchard Park to Rodger Young Park, followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. at Rodger Young Park. Free outdoor patriotic concert by the Toledo Symphony Concert Band 2-3:30 p.m. at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.

Holland: Springfield Holland Freedom Celebration and Fireworks Display, 1-10:15 p.m. tomorrow at Community Homecoming Park; fireworks at dusk.

Lakeside: Kids fishing derby, other festivities 3 to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the boat launching area of East Harbor State Park. Dance 6 p.m. Sunday in front of the park s camp store and Tuesday at the South Beach shelter house.

Luna Pier, Mich.: Kelly Miller circus at 2 and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow in Luna Pier School Park, followed by fireworks at dusk at the Clyde Evans Memorial Pier. City-wide garage sales throughout the day.

Maumee: Food and live entertainment 5-9 p.m. Monday at Wayne and Conant streets. Joint firework display with Perrysburg at dusk, launched from Maumee/Perrysburg bridge. Bridge closed to traffic 8-11 p.m.

Monclova Twp.: Freedom Fest 2006 tomorrow at Cathedral of Praise, 3000 Strayer Rd. Helicopter and carriage rides, bungee jumping, fireworks at dusk.

Monroe, Mich.: Food, art show, bands and games, noon to 10 p.m. tomorrow at St. Mary s Park; fireworks at dusk.

Napoleon: Contests and games 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow through Monday at Glenwood Park. Monday: concert 7-10 p.m. Tuesday: Contests and games 9 a.m.-8 p.m., concert 8-10 p.m., and fireworks at 10 p.m. at Glenwood Park.

Oak Harbor: Fireworks display at dusk tomorrow along the river on Mill Street.

Ottawa: Food and games 7 p.m. Sunday at County Acres Golf Club, followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.

Perrysburg: Star-Spangled Banner Celebration 4 p.m. to midnight Monday at Fort Meigs State Memorial Park. Joint firework display with Maumee at about 10 p.m. launched from Maumee/Perrysburg bridge. Bridge closed to traffic 8-11 p.m. Tuesday: 1813 Independence Day recreation 2 p.m. at Fort Meigs.

Port Clinton: Sunday: Old-fashioned ice cream social 6-7 p.m. at Adams Street Park gazebo and Independence Day opening ceremony 7-8 p.m. with various bands. Tuesday: fish fry 2-6 p.m. at the American Legion, 118 Monroe St.; ice cream social 3-4 p.m. at Adams Street Park; parade 4:30 p.m. beginning and ending at Port Clinton High School followed by a concert at Adams Street Park. Fireworks at dusk at Waterworks Park.

Put-In-Bay: Fireworks at dusk over downtown harbor.

Sandusky: Fireworks 10 p.m. skyline over Cedar Point amusement park. The park is open 10 a.m. to midnight.

Swanton: Food, music and raffles, 7 p.m. Sunday at Swanton High School football field, followed by fireworks at dusk. Rock wall to write greetings for servicemen.

Sylvania: Star-Spangled Celebration 7 p.m. to midnight Monday at Centennial Terrace. Fireworks start around 10 p.m. Viewing available at Pacesetter Park.

Tiffin: Pool games 1-4 p.m.; pet parade, 6 p.m.; big-wheel races and concert 7 p.m.; money hunt, 8 p.m. and fireworks at dusk, all at Hedges-Boyer Park.

Wauseon: Free swim at the pool with lifeguard games 1-9 p.m. at 615 East Oak St. Fireworks at dusk behind Wauseon High School.

Woodville: Parade at noon tomorrow followed by concert at 7:30 p.m.; Rides 1-5 p.m. Sunday, followed by band 7:30 p.m.; Senior events 1-5 p.m. Monday followed by a band, 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m. All events at Trailmarker Park.



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