Mikey Epstein, left, and Mark Farley attack Ally Falter with inflatable bats and Silly String during Perrysburg's Star-Spangled Banner Celebration at Fort Meigs State Memorial Park. Family activities were featured before the fireworks display.
Toledo's Fourth of July festivities kick off at 1 p.m. today in Promenade Park and culminate at 10 tonight in the sky over the Maumee River.
There'll be music - the local band Nu-Tones is headlining the entertainment - and food all afternoon and evening in the park.
FamilyFest at the adjacent Festival Park, also on the riverfront next to COSI, will have rides, games, and other children's activities. The festival also will feature "Flumpa Live and Friends," a musical science show for children. Performances will be at 2, 4, and 6 p.m.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the fireworks display, Pharm Lights the Night, which is expected to last about 20 minutes. Organizers say the show will be the biggest fireworks display in northwest Ohio. The event is organized by CitiFest Inc.
Those headed downtown to watch the fireworks will encounter closings of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge and nearby streets before the show, with reopenings for vehicles and boats occurring in stages after the end of the fireworks.
The bridge will remain in the "down" position for about 90 minutes, beginning about 9:15 p.m. It will close to traffic but remain available to pedestrians for the fireworks' duration.
Also at 9:15 p.m., Summit Street will be closed between Monroe and Cherry streets. Eastbound Jackson and Adams streets and Jefferson Avenue will be barricaded at St. Clair Street. Those streets will reopen once pedestrians have cleared the area after the fireworks.
At 10:45 p.m., the King bridge will be opened for boats to pass through. After all boat traffic has cleared, the bridge will be reopened to vehicles.
City officials urge show-goers to arrive early and park on the side of downtown closest to where they're going after the fireworks. Tow trucks will remove any vehicles in restricted areas. Motorists leaving after the show are urged to be patient, follow police instructions, and avoid blocking intersections.
Motorists parking in the High Tower and Edison garages on Summit Street should not expect to leave those garages until 11 p.m. Law enforcement officers will not allow vehicles to leave the garages until pedestrians have cleared Summit.
Certain traffic signals will be placed on "flash" after the show to give priority to vehicles leaving the riverfront area.
Other Independence Day festivities in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan today are:
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 intramural fields, near the Ice Arena.
Bryan: Kiwanis Club breakfast 7 to 11 a.m. in the hangar at the Williams County Airport. Rides on planes offered.
Dundee, Mich.: Parade at 1 p.m. starting at Dundee High School.
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 to 3:30 p.m. at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.
Lakeside: Dance 6 p.m. at the South Beach shelter house.
Napoleon: Contests and games 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., concert 8 to 10 p.m., and fireworks at 10 p.m., all at Glenwood Park.
Oregon: The 13th annual Starr Spangled 5K run will be held at 8 a.m. at Starr School, 3230 Starr Ave. Race day registration begins at 7 a.m.
Perrysburg: 1813 Independence Day re-creation at 2 p.m. at Fort Meigs State Memorial Park.
Port Clinton: Fish fry 2 to 6 p.m. at the American Legion, 118 Monroe St.; ice cream social 3 to 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: Three Tall Ships docked at Meigs Street Pier providing half-hour cruises in the Sandusky Bay 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fireworks at dusk along the Sandusky waterfront. Fireworks 10 p.m. skyline over Cedar Point amusement park. The park is open 10 a.m. to midnight.
Tiffin: Pool games 1 to 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 to 9 p.m. at 615 East Oak St. Fireworks at dusk behind Wauseon High School.