Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Look Back on Independence Day

Did you stay in your home town for the Fourth of July? This past Friday many cities, towns and villages put their own twist on how they celebrate our nations birthday.  The name says it all, "Holiday at Home",  for Van Wert's Independence Day celebration!

I have spent all but one Fourth of July in my home town, Van Wert, the past 32 years! The one year was missed due to the birth of my middle son, Kyle. How appropriate to have a Firecracker Baby when you are the chairperson for the "Holiday at Home" Committee.

Ok, this isn't a blog posting on plants or gardening! I thought I would share with you the activities that took place this past holiday weekend. If you are from Van Wert, or the surrounding area, I hope you were able to take in some of the festivities.

The day begins with an all you can eat pancake and sausage breakfast at the VFW. If you like to bike, the Century Bike Tour begins at Jubilee Park. The bike tour is a great way to see Van Wert County as there are three different routes to choose from.  Shortly there after the annual parade commenced down Main Street so spectators chairs began to line up along the parade route. 

There always seems to be a variety of units in the parade. The local police and sheriff departments always start things off with their sirens a blaring.  The parade is then filled with bands, floats, color guards, tractors, motorcycles and you can always count on the Mayor to lend his support!

The Parade Begins
Color Guard-American Flag
Queen Float
Polar Extreme Float
Mayor Don Farmer

Parade Judges

Our new parade judges definitely had their work cut out for them. It wasn't easy picking out the winners in the various categories!

If you are into crafts, music and history, a trip to the Van Wert County Historical Society would be the next stop on the agenda. Also held the first weekend in July is the Old Fashion Farmers Days. A three day event held at the Fairgrounds.

Old Fashion Farmers Day Parade Participant

Van Wert Fireman's Chicken Dinners
 Late afternoon and into the evening there were several choices to wind down the day. A concert In Fountain Park with The Lima Pop Orchestra that drew a large crowd and the Van Wert Fireman's Association once again held their Chicken BBQ at Smiley Park. This was also the time that families gathered at Smiley Park to spend time together for a picnic, to do a little fishing or just throw a football or frisbee around.

Family Time
 The celebration wouldn't be complete without fireworks. While waiting for the first llight in the sky you could grab some cotton candy or maybe a shaved iced cool treat.

 After a short delay from the scheduled blast off, spectators were treated to a display of bright and colorful booms and blasts in the sky. For those who were close to Councilman Jerry Mazur's residence, a neighbor to Smiley Park, they were treated to patriotic music during the fireworks! What a fitting touch! Thanks Jerry. 

Now that the Fourth of July is behind us, planning for 2015 will soon begin.

Until next year!

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