The city of Delaware will host a full schedule of Independence Day events Friday, July 4 -- with a little help from local businesses.
The city announced Monday, June 23, it had raised $25,000 in sponsorships to pay for its annual fireworks show. City spokesman Lee Yoakum said the donated funds will allow the city to launch a 20-minute fireworks display from the wastewater treatment plant off Cherry Street.
"It allows us to put on a very good show," he said.
The fireworks are scheduled to start about 10 p.m.
The city started seeking sponsorships for fireworks in 2010 due to budget cuts.
This year, Byers Auto Group, Meijer and OhioHealth each contributed $5,000 toward the display. The Ohio Machine, the Major League Lacrosse team that plays its home games on Ohio Wesleyan University's campus, contributed $6,500.
The city will use the Machine's contribution to buy fireworks that launch higher into the sky. That investment will allow Machine fans with tickets to watch the fireworks from their seats at OWU's Selby Stadium.
"In the past, you could not see the fireworks from the stadium because of the trees that are near the stadium (by) the bike path," Yoakum said.
As in previous years, OWU's athletic fields along South Henry Street will be open to the public during the display.
The Machine will play the Chesapeake Bayhawks at 4 p.m. July 4 at the stadium. Team spokesman Noah Sharfman said fans who buy a ticket for the game can return to the stadium at dusk to watch the fireworks display.
He said the stadium will feature other family-friendly events starting at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS Sports.
After the game wraps up, the Central Ohio Symphony will perform its 29th annual Independence Day concert at 7:30 p.m. at Phillips Glen, behind Gray Chapel on the OWU campus. Reserved-chair tickets cost $6, but lawn seats for the event are free.
The day's activities kick off at 11 a.m. with the annual Delaware Fourth of July parade, sponsored by the Delaware County Farm Bureau. Parade registration and the lineup process will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds' coliseum.
The parade will travel east on Pennsylvania Avenue, then south on Sandusky Street before ending near Wilmer Street.
Farm bureau officials said awards will be presented for the most patriotic float, the best youth float and the best historic vehicle or tractor.
In previous years, the parade had been conducted later in the afternoon, but Yoakum said the farm bureau agreed to reschedule the event so it would not conflict with the lacrosse game. He said the parade also was moved up so city workers will be available to help monitor parking, traffic and other issues at both events.
"We certainly will help organize that and supply manpower in the form of police and (public-service employees)," he said.