Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Tens of thousands pack downtown for KABOOM


Fireworks over the Maumee River during the Red, White, Kaboom on Friday night in downtown Toledo.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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To be ready — really ready — to take in the fireworks spectacle, you must prepare.

The Sullivan family knows all about that. Thursday night, the brood of siblings from Sylvania Township went to bed early; 8:59 p.m., said 13-year-old Leann. Friday was about saving energy for the family’s first outing to the fireworks in downtown Toledo.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view slideshow.

For Leann, a seasoned fireworks attendee, the best part is the anticipation of the first bang, the first sparkle in the sky.

“You never know when they’re gonna set them off,” she said.

For her younger siblings — Kenny, 6, Jessica, 10, and Mary, 12 — the worst part is the waiting.

“We got here at 6:04. You gotta be patient,” said Linda, 9. She is not good at patient.‍

Tens of thousands of people crowded Promenade and International parks for the Red, White, KABOOM Fourth of July celebration — city officials expected from 50,000 to 80,000 people would flock to downtown for the fireworks, which started promptly at 10 p.m. and ended with a bright and colorful grand finale about 20 minutes later.

Toledo police, Lucas County sheriff’s deputies, and private security personnel were out in full force — with Toledo firefighters on standby. Few, if any, serious problems seemed to erupt.

Amaria Lance, 6, of Toledo, who learned in school that the holiday is to celebrate freedom and veterans, also anxiously awaited the fireworks with her brother, Anthony Dave, 15, and mother Tora Lance.

“They’re pretty and I really like them,” Amaria said about the fireworks.

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