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

Local communities celebrate holiday with parades, festivals, fireworks

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(Toledo News Now) -

Communities across the country celebrated Independence Day with fireworks and parades Friday.

Toledo

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

A pyrotechnics crew spent hours 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 a great show put together, and obviously with the weather – we couldn't ask for a better night to shoot fireworks, that's for sure."

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

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

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

Oregon

It was the fifth annual Boomfest in Oregon this year. Aside from fireworks, the celebration featured a classic car show, live music, and events for the kids.

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

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

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

Fremont

Fremont residents also came together on the Fourth to celebrate. But hours before the fireworks started Friday night, they held a parade.

The parade has become an annual tradition for most Fremont residents, because they say it not only promotes national pride but local connections, as well.

"Things like this don't happen too often, so we come downtown and try to have a good time," said Austin Young.

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

"Music is a bonding thing in and of itself," said Bruce Moss, conductor of the Toledo Symphony Concert Band. "It crosses all generations, all cultures."

The concert has grown larger every year, drawing visitors from all over Ohio. It makes sense to hold it 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. Hayes loved Spiegel Grove, and they loved having visitors come and share the beauty of the grounds," said Joan Eckermann, special events coordinator at the center. "They would be thrilled to have this many people out on their front lawn listening to music."

The event is free each year, and is expected to continue as long as visitors continue filling the lawn with red, white and blue.

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