Sky of lights

Regional Fourth of July celebrations

By Erin Callahan

Photo: The Centerville Americana Festival celebrates 43 years July 4; photo courtesy of Centerville Americana Festival

Friday, July 1

Kevin Sonnycalb Memorial 

Fireworks Festival

 Shawnee Park, 591 S. Park Drive in Xenia

The festival honors Kevin Sonnycalb of Xenia and has brought the community together after the lasting effects of the Xenia tornado. Sonnycalb passed in 2011 after years of serving the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce, the Xenia Rotary Club, and Xenia City Schools. In its second year, the event will host popular food trucks like Zombie Dogz, hold a fishing contest with $600 in prizes, and a superhero bike parade with $500 in prizes that welcomes children to dress up like their favorite superhero and decorate their bikes. “We’re lucky to have such an active city administration and supportive local businesses and families that see the virtue of celebrating our liberty together, Sarah Amend, event coordinator, says. “It really shows how Xenia has turned a corner.” The event will be held from 4 to 11 p.m. and is sponsored by Greene Memorial Hospital, Xenia Rotary, and the Sonnycalb family.

Old Fashioned Fireworks

Clark County Fairgrounds, 4401 S. Charleston Pike, in Springfield

This free and family-friendly event, hosted by the National Trails Park and Recreation District (NTPRD), will feature live music from The Kate Hasting Band and an array of food truck vendors starting at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to visit the fairgrounds with their chairs and blankets for the best view of the fireworks, starting at 10 p.m. Penny Dunbar, recreation specialist at the NTPRD, says, “It will be the perfect start to the holiday weekend.”

Saturday, July 2

Star Spangled Heights

Thomas A. Cloud Park, 4707 Brandt Pike in Huber Heights

The Star Spangled Heights event is a day packed with activities and is kicked off with a parade at 10 a.m. The parade will begin on Chambersburg Road, travel down Brandt Pike, and end at Nebraska Avenue. “The festivities will continue at Thomas A. Cloud Park at noon with a food truck rally, the Annual Historical Society Car Show, a kids zone with inflatables, and games and live bands throughout the day,” says Scott Falkowski, assistant city manager. “This all leads up to one of the largest fireworks shows in the area beginning at 10 p.m.”

Sunday, July 3

Grand Old Independence Day

Carriage Hill Farm and MetroPark, 7800 E. Shull Road in Huber Heights

Carriage Hill Farm demonstrates what life would be like in the 1880s, including Independence Day. Attendees can play games from the time period, including tug of war, sack races, and a watermelon seed-spitting contest, hear historic music, and even eat ham and beans from cast iron skittles outside. “It’s a step back to a more simple time, when people didn’t need big firework displays or concerts,” says Rick Musselman, historic farm supervisor. “The small entertainments are a more relaxed way to celebrate with friends and family.”


Lights in Flight Fireworks Festival

RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave. in Dayton

Visit the heart of downtown Dayton starting at 1 p.m. to enjoy what Lamonte Hall Jr., recreation program coordinator of special events for the City of Dayton calls, “great food, great music, great fireworks, and a great family event.” Attendees can enjoy a variety of food and a unique, multicultural mix of music including jazz, rock, Latin, funk, a cappella, rhythm and blues, and more. At 10 p.m., attendees can tune to 102.9 FM and look to the sky to enjoy 25 minutes of fireworks synced to a special soundtrack. “This is expected to be our best show in a very long time,” Hall says.



Vandalia Recreation Center, 1111 Stonequarry Road in Vandalia

The city of Vandalia will gather starting at 7 p.m. for food vendors and family activities, including live entertainment from This Side Up, a Dayton rock and roll band. The event will also feature the Vandalia’s Got Talent competition finals for four age groups and fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. “The Star Spangled Celebration is a small hometown event that is enjoyed by locals that attend,” says Jeff Kreill, recreation superintendent.

Monday, July 4

Americana Festival and Fireworks

Downtown Centerville

The Centerville Americana Festival expects 75,000 to 100,000 attendees to come out and enjoy the many diverse attractions its 43rd annual event has to offer. The event features a 5K run at 7:30 a.m., a street fair at 9:30 a.m., a parade at 10 a.m., followed by an auto show, hot air balloons, live entertainment, and more throughout the day. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. “The uniqueness and diversity of our event offers something for every age group, making it the perfect family celebration,” says Duke Lunsford, executive director.

Fourth of July Car Show

Greene County Fairgrounds, 120 Fairground Road in Xenia

The Greene County Antique and Classic Car Club will celebrate its 51st Annual Fourth of July Car Show, 10 a.m.­ to 3 p.m. Cars will be judged from 8 a.m. to noon. Attendees can expect to see cars from nearly every decade of the 1900s, the DJ will play ’50s and ’60s hits, and there will be door prizes awarded every hour. Those looking for spare parts can also visit the swap meet. “It’s a great family event,” says Mike Self, publicity chairman. “Everyone remembers their first car, and parents like to show their kids what they drove, what they dated in. There are a lot of memories tied to the cars.”

Red White & Boonshoft

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 Deweese Parkway in Dayton

Red White & Boonshoft will feature several different attractions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The first; hands-on science, will feature liquid nitrogen ice cream, an explosive watermelon, and an electricity demonstration. The second; natural history, will explore the world of the first Native Americans and their patriotic artwork. The third will be discussions in the amphitheater, and the fourth will be indoor fireworks in the planetarium. “Our event represents the science behind the Fourth of July, like how the colors of fireworks are made,” says Kristy Creel, director of marketing and public relations for the Dayton Society of Natural History. Activities are included with admission and are free for members.


For more details on these events, please visit

Also look out for…

July 2

Star Spangled Heights

Red, White & Boro

City of Greenville Community Fireworks Display

July 3

City of Lebanon Independence Day Celebration

Americana Concert

July 4

City of Fairborn July 4 Parade & Fireworks

City of Piqua 4th Fest

Yellow Springs Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks

City of Moraine Star Spangled Boom

Fourth of July Fireworks in Tipp City

All American Blast: Fireworks in Franklin

City of Beavercreek Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks

City of Kettering Fireworks – Go 4th!

City of Englewood Fireworks Celebration

City of Troy Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks

Reach DCP freelance writer Erin Callahan at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Erin Callahan at

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