|Thousands of people will come to downtown Columbus for Red, White and Boom!. Visit www.cota.com to see extended bus routes for that night.|
It is time again to Red, White & Boom!, with half a million of your closest friends and neighbors at the Midwest’s largest Independence Day celebration on July 3.
Civic Center Drive will be closed to traffic, but open for fun as thousands of central Ohioans descend upon downtown Columbus and the riverfront for a kick-off to July 4th with food, games, and the annual mile-long parade, which draws more than 125,000 spectators.
Explosion after fiery explosion, synchronized to the music of a nearly half-hour soundtrack, fills the sky at 10 p.m. Shells are fired from Washington Boulevard between Broad and Town streets, which provides great views from the north and south.
“Our fireworks company, Pyrotechnico, is ahead of the curve and very cutting edge,” said the event’s executive director, Mike Collins. “The display this year features new artistic colors and designs and Red, White, and Boom! is one of the first to present them.”
The Civic Center Drive midway offers a festival atmosphere with food vendors, games, inflatables, and specialty items starting at 11 a.m., although portable tents, blankets, lawn chairs, and coolers start popping up as early as 24 hours in advance as party-goers stake their claim to the best viewing area to see the fireworks and celebrate Red, White, and Boom for the 27th year.
Free entertainment, with an all-day line-up, begins at Bicentennial Stage at 12 p.m. with Andy Wallace 2 Bricks Shy and ends with The Divide immediately following the fireworks at 10:25 p.m.
Tucked in between are a variety of presentations for kids, teens, and adults including: DeJavu, Celebrate Kids, City Folk, Lou Band, Babble Jack, and Jared Marone with Last Big Town Band.
Macy’s Children’s Park opens at noon in Battelle Park with a wide range of interactive, educational activities and entertainment and continues until the start of the parade at 6 p.m. A mobile DJ is headlining entertainment for the kids and COSI is presenting the “Science of Fireworks.”
Nationwide Boulevard is transformed into A Taste of Boom, which features music by local bands, a beer garden, and a Blue Jackets interactive display. The event kicks off at 4 p.m. and continues until midnight. Performing on the Taste stage are: Fort Hayes Jazz Group, Austin Fehrenbach, The Figurines, Edgar Peach, The Sneeks, User Friendly, Jonathon Hoard, and Conspiracy.
Although large crowds are an accepted part of celebrating, with 500,000 other like-minded festivalgoers, the Central Ohio Transit Authority suggests leaving the driving to them and avoiding the hassle of finding a parking space near all of the action. COTA is offering special bus service from several Park and Ride locations to Red, White, and Boom.
“Thanks to the citizens of Columbus, the event continues to be a large, but safe environment,” continued Collins. “You also have to give credit to the police department and the fire department. Red, White, and BOOM! is laid out in such a fashion that although it is unbelievably crowded, there is a consistency and people know where to go.
“The event is designed to be as attendee-friendly as possible. Opening up new venues throughout the years, such as Taste of BOOM! in the arena district, allows us to expand the environment.”
For information about Red, White, and Boom, call 299-9221 or visit www.redwhiteandboom.org.