Local communities celebrate holiday with parades, festivals, fir - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Local communities celebrate holiday with parades, festivals, fireworks

(Toledo News Now) -

Communities across thecountry celebrated Independence Day with fireworks and parades Friday.

Toledo

In northwest Ohio,thousands came to downtown Toledo for the Red, White, KABOOM! fireworks displayover the Maumee River.

A pyrotechnics crew spenthours preparing to make the show memorable.

"You got a large variety,there's a lot of specialty shells," said show producer Ronnie Greco. "We have agreat show put together, and obviously with the weather – we couldn't ask for abetter night to shoot fireworks, that's for sure."

With all the extra people,Toledo Police and the fire department worked together to make sure everyonestayed safe.

"We've got a 620-footperimeter set up around the shoot zone, and that's based upon the size of theshells that they'll be shooting," explained Toledo Fire Captain Robert Walters."You never quite know what could potentially happen. Fireworks, obviously, arepretty volatile."

TFD, TPD, the Coast Guardand the Lucas County Sheriff's Office teamed up and operated out of a unifiedcommand center at Toledo Fire Headquarters.

Oregon

It was the fifth annualBoomfest in Oregon this year. Aside from fireworks, the celebration featured aclassic car show, live music, and events for the kids.

"It's good for thecommunity," said Carl Genson at the car show. "The people get out and are ableto have a good time, because most don't know this place exists."

The event has been free tothe public since its inception. It costs about $50,000 to host, but the cityand other sponsors cover the cost so Oregon residents and others can have agood time.

"I really just hope thatpeople come here and have a good time, blend with their neighbors and reallylook forward to next year," said Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian.

Fremont

Fremont residents alsocame together on the Fourth to celebrate. But hours before the fireworksstarted Friday night, they held a parade.

The parade has become anannual tradition for most Fremont residents, because they say it not onlypromotes national pride but local connections, as well.

"Things like this don'thappen too often, so we come downtown and try to have a good time," said AustinYoung.

Another tradition inFremont attracted 5,000 visitors to Spiegel Grove Friday afternoon. The 18thannual Independence Day Concert was held at the Hayes Presidential Center,featuring the Toledo Symphony Concert Band.

"Music is a bonding thingin and of itself," said Bruce Moss, conductor of the Toledo Symphony ConcertBand. "It crosses all generations, all cultures."

The concert has grownlarger every year, drawing visitors from all over Ohio. It makes sense to holdit at the home of President Rutherford B. Hayes for the national connection,but President Hayes himself held events like that when he lived there.

"President and Mrs. Hayesloved Spiegel Grove, and they loved having visitors come and share the beautyof the grounds," said Joan Eckermann, special events coordinator at the center."They would be thrilled to have this many people out on their front lawnlistening to music."

The event is free eachyear, and is expected to continue as long as visitors continue filling the lawnwith red, white and blue.

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