Fourth of July back with bang in Reynoldsburg

Reynoldsburg’s Fourth of July celebration will be back this year with a parade and fireworks display deep in old-town traditions.

Both events were shelved last year due to budget constraints, and event organizers promise the return of the events in 2008 will feature the same high-quality festivities Reynoldsburg residents have come to expect.

Parade is July 4

According to Mary Hudson, vice-president of the Reynoldsburg Community Association and director of the Reynoldsburg Visitors and Community Activities Bureau, the Fourth of July parade will be held at 2 p.m. on July 4. Keeping with the tradition of the previous years, the parade will kick off at Rosehill and East Main Street, continue east on Main Street, turn right on Haft Drive, turn left on Davidson Drive, and will conclude at Huber Park.

Organization of the parade has been taken over by the non-profit Reynoldsburg Community Association, which was created last year by a group of citizens to generate funding for community celebrations after the city decided it could no longer afford to sponsor the parade.

"Before, it was just a group of people in the community who had organized it for years and years," Hudson said.

The Reynoldsburg Community Association is led by President Chuck Cochran. Other officers include Bobbie Jo Roth, secretary, and Anna Clendenen, treasurer. Committee members include Susan and Norm Brusk, Fred and Georgia Deskins, Chris and Sandy Long and Benjamin Morrison.

Parade entries are still being accepted, and Hudson challenged members of the community to make this year’s parade the best ever.

"We are encouraging civic organizations and neighborhood groups to put a float in," she said. Entry fees are $25 for commercial businesses, $35 for politicians and free for non-profit organizations.

The theme of this year’s parade is "Reynoldsburg Celebrates Freedom" and the grand marshal will be Anna Hurt, who organized a bike parade in her neighborhood after last year’s Fourth of July events were cancelled.

"This year we will also be bringing back the children’s decorated bike contest," Hudson noted. The red, white and blue themed decorations traditionally start the parade. It will begin at 1 p.m. in the bank parking lot at Main and Briarcliff, and will be judged at 1:30 p.m.

"We usually get 50 to 75 kids," she said. "They all get a participation ribbon."

There will also be first-, second- and third-place winners in three different age categories.

Funding for the parade has been generated over the past year through a variety of fundraisers, Hudson noted. The Reynoldsburg Wal-Mart gave the group some seed money, plus several other fundraisers were held. Local restaurants joined forces with a fundraiser over the winter, and Hudson added, "We made over $1,000 that night."

Other fundraisers included an interior car detailing event, and the Lions Club let the Reynoldsburg Community Association help with its concession stands.

While this year’s parade is still fresh in everyone’s minds, the Reynoldsburg Community Association is going to host a "bucket brigade" in an effort to encourage motorists to make contributions to the 2009 event.

"It’s so hard," Hudson said of fundraising. "Reynoldsburg is not a big town. Everyone has their hand out. We figure if we do fundraising all year, perhaps we will be able to get more people to contribute."

For information about the parade, or to register to participate, contact the Reynoldsburg Visitors and Convention Bureau at 866-4888.

Fireworks will be July 5

The city of Reynoldsburg will be awash in a sea of color when the Independence Day fireworks are featured at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday, July 5 at Civic Park.

According to Mary Burcham, executive secretary for the Reynoldsburg Safety/Service Department, the fireworks display will be slightly shorter this year, lasting between 20 and 30 minutes. Pyrotecnico will be conducting the fireworks, and Burcham said "We’ve been using them for years. They’ve always done such a fantastic job for us."

The city has allocated $25,000 out of the general fund budget to sponsor the fireworks show this year. Burcham said she has been hearing people say how pleased they are that the fireworks show is going to return.

"Everyone is happy we are having them this year," she said. "We are very excited."


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