MIAMI COUNTY — Cities throughout Miami County and beyond will celebrate the nation’s independence with Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks.
Troy will kick off its Independence Day celebration with a parade, which has been organized by local veterans organizations. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. and will include Staunton Road, Market Street and Main Street. Troy will begin its fireworks presentation at 10 p.m. in the levee area.
Mick DeHart of Troy, a veteran, will serve as the grand marshal of the Fourth of July parade.
DeHart was born in 1942 in Troy and graduated from Troy High School in 1960.
DeHart was drafted in 1967 at the age of 25 along with his brother, Terry, who was 20. They went through basic training together at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. After basic, they split up. Mick went to Fort Polk, La., for Advanced Infantry Training specializing in mortars. Upon completion of AIT, Mick accepted an invitation to attend the Non-Commissioned Officers Candidate Course at Fort Benning. He graduated 16th out of a class of 150 with the rank of Sergeant E-5. It was back to Fort Polk for OJT (on the job training) where he assisted Drill Sergeants in training basic trainees. At the end of that eight week cycle, Mick received his rocker and was promoted to Staff Sergeant E-6.
In August 1968, Mick arrived in Vietnam and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Air Mobile Division. His orders sent him to Echo Co. 2/5 Cav. He was initially a squad leader of the 1st squad, Recon Platoon and 4 months later became the Recon Platoon Sgt. During his time in Vietnam Mick received the Combat Infantry Badge, two Silver Stars, one Bronze Star with “V” device, and one Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, an Air Medal, Good Conduct medal and the Purple Heart.
From the Vietnamese government he received two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry awards, one with palm and one with Silver Star.
Mick came home in August 1969, honorably discharged from the Army. In 1975 he met and married Carol Chrisman and they raised four children. Starting in 2006 they began organizing Echo Co. 2/5th CAV reunions with the first being Memphis, Tenn. There have been reunions every two years since then. In 2009 Mick was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor. He was inducted in November 2015 into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame for his continuing work with veterans and their spouses.
In Piqua, the Fourth of July fun will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Fountain Park. “There will be all kinds of family entertainment, activities for kids and grownups, musical entertainment, along with food and so forth,” Piqua City Manager Gary Huff said. “It should be a fun time.”
Activities will include a show by Madcap Puppets, putt-putt golf, a COSI science exhibition, a bike parade, a Kennel Club demo, caricature drawing, a photo booth, balloon sculpturing, a kids’ train ride, a zip line, a helicopter demonstration, face-painting, a dunk tank, pie-in-the-face, other kid’s games, patriotic hats and flags for kids, and more. There also will be an assortment of food and drink booths, with proceeds going to local non-profits and churches.
Huff noted that Fountain Park is a good location for daytime activities due to the amount of shade it provides.
The park’s Hance Pavilion will feature entertainment by the Mountain Dulcimer Society of Dayton, Rum River Blend, and the Piqua Civic Band during the day.
In the evening between 6-10 p.m., the celebration will move toward downtown Piqua, where there be will activities, food, and entertainment at Lock 9 Riverfront Park. Tim Wirth of WPTW Radio will be the master of ceremonies for the evening entertainment, which includes opening act The Hired Guns at 6 p.m. and headliner The Coasters at approximately 8:30 p.m.
There will also be food trucks from Susie’s Big Dipper and Tin Roof Mobile Food during the evening celebration.
Fireworks over the riverfront will begin at dusk, which will be approximately at 9:40 p.m. “There will be a lot of good visibility for what we hope will be a tremendous fireworks display,” Huff said.
Attendees will be able to sit along the riverfront, at Lock 9 Park, and even on the bike path bridge that goes over the river to watch the fireworks, Huff said.
A large crowd is expected to attend the fireworks display, and Huff reassures residents and visitors that, with more than 1,500 spaces downtown, there is plenty of parking that’s convenient, with just a short walk to the Lock 9 Park riverfront.
In addition to the city of Piqua, Piqua’s Fourth of July celebration is sponsored by Mainstreet Piqua, the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce, Piqua Arts Council, the Piqua Daily Call, WPTW Radio, Miami County Visitors Bureau, and the Miami Valley Centre Mall.
Other Fourth of July festivities in Miami County include:
• Tipp City
Tipp City will host a Fourth of July festival in City Park on July 4, continuing a tradition that started last year with the city’s 175th anniversary.
The event begins at 5 p.m. with a performance by local band Beesly. The festival will also feature vendors and local food trucks. The evening will end with the annual Fourth of July Fireworks show at 10 p.m.
• West Milton
The village of West Milton is once again celebrating Independence Day with a four-day celebration. The event, which kicks off in the municipal park at 6 p.m. Friday, July 1, features amusement rides, food, and games. Pre-sale ride tickets are available at Curry’s Video, Owl Drugs and Wertz Variety. The West Milton Lions Club will host their traditional Bingo event at their shelter on Saturday and Sunday, as well as their barbecue chicken sale on Monday beginning at 11 a.m. The West Milton Independence Day Hometown Parade begins at 11 a.m. July 4. The festival ends each day at 10 p.m., with a fireworks display closing out the event Monday.
• Champaign County
The village of Christiansburg will be celebrating Independence Day on Sunday, July 3, with a day full of festivities. Beginning with non-denominational church services in the park at 9 a.m., the day will be filled with a parade, co-ed softball tournament, kids’ games, music, pie auction (at 6 p.m.), concessions and Chuck Lyons’ pork chop and chicken dinners. There will be a waterball tournament at 1 p.m. on First Street hosted by the volunteer firemen of Christiansburg. The celebration will come to a close with a fireworks show at dusk. Be sure to bring your chairs.