Blade officials organizing this year's three-day Red, White, KABOOM event downtown promise the Independence Day weekend will include a range of activities leading up to the granddaddy of fireworks displays on July 3.
"The big news is that [the fireworks are] on Sunday the third, which is a change, but it is going to be bigger and better than ever with great stage acts and great food, and a $65,000 fireworks display that will blow you away," said Joseph H. Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade. "We are grateful for the sponsors who are helping with this and we expect a huge crowd."
The event will include a "family-friendly zone" on the east side of the Maumee River in International Park while there will be beer sales on the downtown side in Promenade Park.
Mr. Zerbey said there was "some push back" regarding the decision to have fireworks on July 3 rather than on the actual holiday.
"I reminded people who I spoke to that Bowling Green and Perrysburg are also doing it on Sunday," he said. "To stretch it out to four days would have been too much for our people."
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell said he was pleased the city would once again have a fireworks display and he was unconcerned about what day the display would occur.
"Everyone should be happy there are fireworks," he said.
The Blade event inside the two parks is expected to attract 25,000 people while there will be at least 100,000 more people around downtown, East Toledo, and on boats to view the fireworks.
An admission fee of $3 for people 12 and older will be charged to enter Red, White, KABOOM after 4 p.m. on each day to help cover the cost of security and the otherwise free entertainment, The Blade said. The fee covers admittance to both Promenade and International parks.
Other sponsors include Taylor Automotive Group, Humana Inc., Mercy Health Partners, and Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., which is the company of Chinese investors that bought The Docks in East Toledo and plans to purchase the Marina District.
The event also includes The Blade's 4th Annual Battle of the Bands appearing on the Promenade Park stage all three afternoons. Friday's evening performance is Frontiers, a Journey tribute band, and Saturday night features Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. Sunday night will feature Alexander Zonjic & Friends before the fireworks, which will be done by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale and set to music simulcast on WXKR 94.5 FM.
The alcohol-free Family/Kid Zone will have the Toledo's Top Talent Show on July 2-3 from 6 to 8 p.m.; the second annual Wiener Dog Races both days from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a "Challenge" dodge-ball tournament on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. The dodge-ball tournament will include participants from the military, police, fire, media, and Mayor Bell's office.
At Promenade Park, visitors can have their picture taken free at The Blade photo booth; view and purchase art and crafts offered by the Toledo Arts Commission; cheer on models during the semifinals of Runway Rivalry on the Promenade Park stage, and enjoy an Air Force fly-over on July 2 at 12:15 p.m.
This year's event will also include a race and walk to raise money for a local group that supports active-duty military members and veterans. The Blade has partnered with Heroes in Action to host the first Heroes Run and Walk -- a 5K run and 1.1-mile walk on July 2. The 5K begins at 10:30 a.m. Runners will start at Jefferson Avenue and North St. Clair Street, then wind through city streets, passing One Government Center, the Imagination Station, Fifth Third Field, and the Erie Street Market before returning to Promenade Park. The walk will begin at 11 a.m.
Toledo Deputy Mayor of Operations Steve Herwat said the city has budgeted to have police officers to handle crowd control and security.
"We love the event, it is a great event, and we are proud to be assisting," he said.
OTHER AREA FIREWORKS DISPLAYS AND EVENTS
Fireworks will be at dusk on July 9 with events starting at 6 p.m. with Walk Bedford from White Park to Indian Creek Park. The fireworks show will be at the Bedford Community Stadium at 8285 Jackman Rd.
The fireworks celebration will be July 3 at the BGSU Stadium and Intramural Fields, with the fireworks starting at dusk.
Entertainment and fireworks will be at the Hancock County Fairgrounds on July 3, with gates opening at 4 p.m. at the Fishlock Avenue entrance. Fireworks will begin at dusk.
The firing of Civil War cannons punctuates a patriotic concert by the Toledo Symphony Concert Band as the Hayes Presidential Center celebrates the Fourth of July with an outdoor Independence Day Concert from 2 to 3:30 p.m. July 4. Admission to the concert is free.
Fireworks hosted by the fire department begin at 10 p.m. July 2.
The celebration begins at 5 p.m. July 3 at East Wayne and Conant streets with food and entertainment. Fireworks will be visible from the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge beginning at 10 p.m. The rain date for fireworks only is July 4. Perrysburg and Maumee share a fireworks display from the Maumee-Perrysburg Bridge.
The 13th annual River Raisin Independence Festival begins at noon July 3 at Sterling State Park with fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Oregon's Independence Day festival "Boomfest" is July 3 at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd., which is the site of the annual German-American Festival. A car show will be from 2 to 6 p.m., live music will start at 3:30, and food and drink concessions will be available all day. Fireworks will be after dark.
The Star Spangled Banner Celebration will be July 3 beginning at 4 p.m. with family events, activities, and rides. Fireworks will be visible from the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge beginning at 10.
The rain date for fireworks only is July 4.
Perrysburg and Maumee share a fireworks display from the Maumee-Perrysburg Bridge.
A national salute and drum music will be held at Fort Meigs at 2 p.m. July 4.
Fireworks will begin at dusk July 4 along Perry Street.
A celebration will be held at the Swanton High School football field starting at 5 p.m. July 3. Festivities include carnival attractions, food, games, door prizes, raffles, and a fireworks display.
The "Star Spangled Celebration" is July 3 at Centennial Quarry & Terrace. The event from 7 p.m. to midnight will feature live music, dancing, clowns, children's activities, and refreshments, with fireworks starting at 10. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Parking at Centennial is $5 per car.
For additional information, call 419-882-1500. The rain date is July 4.
The city will have a number of activities on July 1 at Dorothy Biddle Park, including a tribute to the military, a kite-flying competition, and live music. Free hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks will be offered starting at 5 p.m. The tribute to active military and veterans will begin at 7:30. Admission is free. There will not be fireworks.
Summerfest, the annual fund-raiser for the firefighters, will be from 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Shoreland Park. Festivities include live music and vendors serving a variety of food items.
At 10 p.m. the annual "Thunder over the Point" fireworks display will take place. For more information, call 419-726-2453.
Contact Ignazio Messina at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6171.