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Canfield prepares for 4th of July bash

CANFIELD — Organizers say the Canfield Fourth of July celebration will be huge this year — with top name performers, a fireworks show and the addition of a car show on the village green.

It all kicks off on Saturday at the Canfield Fairgrounds.

“This year’s Independence Day celebrations have something for everyone,” said Clare Neff, event spokeswoman. “It begins with an outstanding fireworks display by Pyrotechnico at the fairgrounds.”

The fairgrounds gates on Saturday will open at 5:30 p.m. with “lots of food vendors” to choose from, Neff said. The cost is $10 per car. The fireworks will begin around 10 p.m.

After a break on Sunday, the festivities ramp up on the Fourth, Monday. At 8 a.m., the food court will open and 15 minutes later the kids’ race around the village green will take off. Immediately afterward, the popular Firecracker 4 Mile Run will begin in front of the Canfield Methodist Church. Runners can register for the race online at https://www.secondsoletiming.com/july-2022-races.

Following the race, Neff said the parade will be set to roll from the Canfield Fairgrounds. She said it will leave the main gate at 10:10 a.m. and head north and around the village green, then up Lisbon Street to the middle school parking lot to disband. During this time state Route 46 will be shut down from the fairgrounds to the green, and Lisbon Street up to Wadsworth Street.

The parade and entire day’s event will follow the theme of “Celebrate America.”

“We’re excited to have our own Canfield Pride Marching Band, as well as two pipe and drum units — the North Coast ensemble from Akron and Steel Valley, comprised of local first responders,” Neff said.

Last year, Neff said a lot of people were wanting to see more classic cars after the parade, so a car show was held. This year, it will be continued in back of Farmers Bank in the parking lot. Cars from the parade and others will be on display. Neff added that the car owners like getting together after the parade.

On the green, following the parade, will be games and activities along with a special performance that will take place by Nashville recording artist Ricky Lee.

“We were looking for a more patriotic performance and we found Ricky Lee,” Neff said. “We also had to find a sponsor, since his performance fee was a bit more than we have paid in the past for local artists. He also brings a friend, Steve Toohey, who brings an open semi-trailer with Operation Flags of Freedom, which will be in the parade before being used as a backdrop to Ricky Lee’s stage. And right before Ricky Lee starts playing, we will be paying tribute to Ohio Veteran Hall of Fame members.”

The three veterans who will be honored are Air Force veterans Lori Stone and Thomas Humphries, and Marine veteran Ken Jakubec. They are in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

The tribute and Lee’s performance will take place on a stage at the northeast corner of the green. The gazebo that is normally the center stage for the post-parade events will not be there on the Fourth.

Canfield City Councilman Anthony Nacarato said the gazebo will be torn down prior to the weekend and a fence will be placed around the site. After the Fourth, work will begin on construction of a new, larger gazebo. That work is expected to be done by the Canfield Fair.

The new gazebo is expected to cost around $250,000, and Canfield Rotary is the driving force to raising those funds.

Asked why the project couldn’t wait until after the Fourth, Nacarato said: “We have a company who has graciously donated to tear down the existing gazebo and haul it away free of charge, which was an $18,000 donation to us. That is why it has to come down before the Fourth of July. We are working at their mercy, but when somebody wants to donate the equivalent of an $18,000 bill and do the work for free I’m going to let them tell me when they’re doing it.”

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