It’s nearly that time of year again when we pause to honor the Red, White and Blue and all things American. In Ohio, there are plenty of opportunities to be patriotic as we celebrate what makes this country great.
The 38th Annual Americana Festival in Centerville-Washington Township is the quintessential Independence Day salute. This year's theme is “It's A Grand Old Flag!” Held Monday, July 4, everything gets underway with a Centerville-Washington favorite, the annual pancake breakfast. Fuel up for the 5K family run, baseball tournament, antique car and truck show, children's activities and street fair with over 300 art and craft vendors. You’ll find the Americana Festival packed with fun for patriots of every age and interest. Enjoy live entertainment throughout the day, culminating in a parade spectacular and firework show at the Centerville High School football stadium. This annual event has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings as a 1970’s sidewalk sale; a stop at the historic town hall's special exhibit will help you appreciate how far both the town and festival have come. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www.americanafestival.org.
In Hamilton, July 4 is all about the music. Here, an Old-Fashioned July 4th Celebration and Parade, held Monday, July 4, offers entertainment by Systems Go, the popular music group of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Band of Flight. One of only 12 national Air Force bands, this ensemble will inspire you to sing along to our nation's favorite patriotic songs. Visit www.ohiotraveler.com/Venue Files/old-fashioned-4th.htm for more information.
A Cleveland staple, ParkView Nite Club celebrates Independence Day with good food, down-to-earth vibes and old-fashioned dive bar fun. Boasting 80 years of history, ParkView has left its stamp on the Cleveland dining and pub scene. Pop open a cold one to accompany ParkView's famous smoked salmon BLT, or let Cleveland's “Best Cheesesteak” sandwich melt in your mouth. With accolades from Scene magazine, Free Times and Crain Business News' “Best of Cleveland,” it's obvious that ParkView is more than just your average watering hole—it’s an Ohio icon. For more information visit www.parkviewniteclub.com.
Nothing captures the essence of an American summer quite like a Fourth of July on the water. Ohio's Headlands Beach State Park, in Mentor, has sun, sand and surf to spare. Featuring a mile-long natural sand beach, Headlands Beach is the state’s largest and one of the only examples of “wild beach” dunes remaining in the Buckeye State. Whether you imagine your Independence Day picnicking by the water, working up a sweat in a beach volleyball tournament or taking a swim to beat the heat, Headlands Beach, on Lake Erie, is the place. Learn more about Lake Erie's marine life at the nearby Fairport Harbor Marine Museum. Take advantage of the serene waters to calm your mind as you fish for salmon, carp, bass, catfish and more. Explore over five miles of hiking trails and you'll find beautiful plants native to the vast dunes. Visit www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/headlnds/tabid/742/Default.aspx for more information. At Headlands Beach State Park, July 4 fun comes naturally.
No matter what your idea of a good time includes this July 4, Ohio has all you need for amusement. Make this the year you create your own Independence Day tradition.