PIQUA — With the Piqua 4th Fest Celebration coming up next week, the city is set to make this event as much — or even more — fun as last year’s recognition of Independence Day.
This will be the second year with the city behind the reigns of the celebration as well as the second year that the fireworks will be set off at the riverfront.
“We just try to keep making this event bigger and bigger,” Brittany Van Horn, special events coordinator at the city of Piqua, said, who noted help from the community and sponsors in order to make this event successful. Sponsors for the Piqua 4th Fest include the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau, WPTW, Piqua Are Chamber of Commerce, Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua, Miami Valley Centre Mall, Tim Wirth and Piqua Materials.
Tradition continues at Fountain Park: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The celebration will be split into two festivals, beginning with Fountain Park in the morning and early afternoon before turning toward the downtown in the evening.
Kicking off the activities at Fountain Park will be the bike parade. Kids can bring their bikes to decorate and ride. Participants will begin decorating their bikes at 10 a.m. at the south end of Fountain Park. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and end down in front of the Hance Pavilion at 11:30 a.m., Van Horn said.
After the bike parade, kids can enjoy watching the Madcap Puppets Shows. They will be back this year and are performing two shows, “Monkey See Monkey Do,” inside the dining hall. The first performance will begin at 11:30 a.m. followed by the second performance at 1:30 p.m.
The Piqua Civic Band will also be kicking off their season at the Piqua 4th Fest, performing from 2-3 p.m. in Hance Pavilion.
Instead of a zip line this year, Vehicle for Change will be bringing a rock-climbing wall and a high ropes course for festival-goers.
“Then Piqua Power will be there with their power display, so they will be doing demonstrations on how to protect yourself from electricity,” Van Horn said.
A timely highlight will be the appearance of the Minion character, one of the popular characters from the “Despicable Me” movies, of which the third and newest installment comes out this weekend.
“We have putt putt, and COSI will be back, too,” Van Horn said.
A city fire truck will also be at the festival, and Careflight will stop by for an appearance at around noon.
“We are having multiple non-profit organizations … that will be selling food and doing activities,” Van Horn said. “It’s going to be significantly bigger than last year when it comes to food. We’re going to have a ton of food.”
The following non-profit organizations will be setting up booths at Fountain Park:
• Cub Scout Pack 295: Ring toss game, popcorn and drinks
• Independent Order of Odd Fellows: Cotton candy
• Mainstreet Piqua: Pizza
• PHS Baseball Team: Lemon chake-ups, hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, soft pretzels
• St. James Episcopal Church: Slices of pie and water
• Boy Scouts Troop 295: Fish pond game, gold fish game, speed pitch, football throw, roller ball
• United Pentecostal: Dunk tank
• Warren Lodge (Masons): Pulled pork sandwiches and chips
• Young Life: Sugar waffles
A musical evening downtown: 6-9:30 p.m.
The downtown festivities at Lock 9 will include musical performances from Mike Perkins of Columbus. He will be the opening act with all original songs.
“His songs are really catchy. His songs just make you want to get up and dance,” Van Horn said.
The city’s headliner will be the Paradise Island Band, a six-piece band who will be performing two 50-minute sets with 20 minutes break in between those sets.
There will be five food trucks lining Lock 9 Park, including TK’s BBQ-n-Fixins, Tin Roof Mobile Food, TJ’s Nice Cream Truck and Gourmet Hot Dogs, Kona Ice and Susie’s Big Dipper. There will also be roasted nuts from Nutz 4 U for sale.
One of the new highlights for this year’s event will be the addition of music playing along with the fireworks thanks to Joe Laber of WPTW.
“If you tune into WPTW, they are actually going to be playing music with the fireworks,” Van Horn said. “They’ll be playing it live on 98.1 FM, 1570 AM, and then streaming it online as well.”
Van Horn added that they will be playing the music from the stage at Lock 9 as well, but they encourage attendees to move down river toward or past the East Main Street Bridge, or Shawnee Bridge, in order to have a better view of the fireworks display.
Fireworks to light up the river: 10 p.m.
Fireworks will be set off at 10 p.m. at the riverfront. Viewing sites include:
• The bike path bridge, which the city requests that there be no smoking on the bike path bridge due to much of the bridge being comprised of wood
• The bike path around the East Main Street Bridge
• The East Main Street Bridge, or Shawnee Bridge, which will be closed off to traffic
• The old Bennett School site
• The Miami Valley Centre Mall, which will have their parking lot available for the city’s handicapped accessible viewing site for people who may be unable to exit their vehicles to watch the fireworks
The fireworks will be provided by Pyrotecnico, a family-owned fireworks business, and are being shot off from the land of the local Piqua Materials.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336