Red, White and Boom may move around the calendar by a day or two, but Clintonville's observance of Independence Day remains the same year in and year out.

Red, White and Boom may move around the calendar by a day or two, but Clintonville's observance of Independence Day remains the same year in and year out.

After all, it's in the name of the organization that kept the longstanding tradition alive more than a dozen years ago.

"The planning is coming along fine," G. Scott Smith, president of Clintonville July 4 Celebration Inc., said last week.

Smith estimated that it was about 13 years ago the nonprofit organization was founded when it appeared the neighborhood Fourth of July celebration faced possible termination.

"The event, it was really not going to happen," Smith said.

The funeral home director and Realtor Pat Kearns-Davis are the two remaining founders of Clintonville July 4 Celebration Inc., which then and now raises funds to keep the event in Whetstone Park coming back year in and year out. All members of the board of directors reside in the Clintonville, Smith pointed out.

"We all have a passion for the neighborhood," he said.

And the neighborhood appears to have a passion for ensuring the tradition continues. Two years ago, local businesses pitched in with fundraising events, donations and creation of a website when, once again, the local Independence Day observation was in danger of not taking place.

In excess of 25,000 people turn out each year for the all-day event in the park, according to the website.

That's gratifying to the organizers, according to the board president.

"We work pretty hard at it to create a safe and pretty nice event for the day," Smith said. "This is 100 percent funded by the community."

He conceded that fundraising has been even more of an uphill battle the last three years or so due to the economic downturn.

"We had to trim down a few things that didn't really affect the quality of the event," Smith said.

A Fourth of July celebration in Whetstone Park, complete with fireworks, all of it paid for without city dollars, dates back more than 60 years.

Lots of volunteers, including local Boy Scout troops and church groups, help to put the event on, Smith said.

Contributions are always appreciated, he added, and may be sent to P.O. Box 141463, Columbus, Ohio 43214.

The money helps pay for not only the fireworks show that concludes the day's events but also the hiring of police officers and emergency personnel, as well as renting portable toilets and tents.

Once the day is done and the cleaning up has taken place, Clintonville July 4 Celebration Inc. board members and officers give themselves only a brief break before getting back to work, Smith said.

"In about November, we start working on it again," he said. "It's a lot of work, but the reward is the success of the day."

July 4 schedule