German Village Gazette

Red, White & Boom!

Celebration organizers plan new attractions

400,000 people are expected to attend the event in downtown Columbus July 3

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The 34th annual Red, White & Boom! celebration will feature a national country music act, a food-truck cavalcade and skydivers, who will unfurl a massive American flag on their way to the ground just before the fireworks display at dusk.

Officials planning the July 3 event, which is expected to draw 400,000 to the downtown area, said they will have a number of new features, including Radio Disney, which will join activities in the children's area, to be located on the grassy area between Long and Spring streets.

Mike Collins, president of Promotions One, which organizes the event each year, said Boom will capitalize on the popularity of the food-truck craze by setting up Food Truck Alley on Civic Center Drive. That will be in addition to the other vendors located throughout the event's grounds.

In other food-related activities, Taste of Boom will start at 3 p.m. on Nationwide Boulevard, which will be closed between Front Street and Neil Avenue.

Those seeking preferential treatment can purchase a $100 VIP wristband, which offers access to catered, picnic-style fare; pop; water; beer and wine; and seats inside the Red, White & Boom tent, which will provide a premium view of the fireworks. Wristbands can be purchased through redwhiteandboom.org or by calling 614-299-9221.

Entertainment, as always, is a big deal at the Independence Day celebration.

There will be 42 groups performing on five stages. Among the bands are Nylon Pink, Liberty Deep Down and Mojoflo, and a national country act, to be announced at a later date, Collins said.

Just before dusk, there will be an appearance from Team FasTrax, a skydiving crew that will make its way to the ground displaying a 7,800-square-foot American flag. Four other jumpers will have magnesium flares shooting out laser-like beams from their boots.

The 26-minute fireworks display, which begins at 10 p.m., will be launched from Franklin County Veterans Memorial.

Per usual, safety is a paramount concern. Collins said there are 64 additional surveillance cameras located downtown, monitored by local and federal law-enforcement officials. In addition, undercover and plainclothes police officers will be patrolling among the crowd.

Backpacks, coolers and other containers should be labeled and not left unattended, organizers said.

"It's still back to: see something, say something," Collins said about event security.

Collins said Red, White & Boom costs roughly $600,000. It involves no public money, but contributes $10 million to the local economy, he said.

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