Beulah Park may be closed, but it's still going to be a blast this Independence Day.
Blast at Beulah, the annual fireworks celebration presented by the Grove City Parks and Recreation Division, returns Friday, July 4, to Beulah Park, 3811 Southwest Blvd.
"The closing of Beulah does present some challenges," said Recreation Superintendent Ed Merritt. "Besides some logistical changes, it'll be similar to last year."
While the fireworks are scheduled to begin around 10 p.m., the gates open at 5:30 p.m., and there will be activities throughout the evening, including live performances by Bone-A-Fide Swing from 6 to 8 p.m. and the Grove City Community Winds from 8:30 to 9:45 p.m.
A children's area will feature inflatibles, face painting and games. In addition, at 8 p.m., a ceremony will take place honoring veterans and active military personnel for their service. There also will be a variety of food vendors.
The fireworks display is being handled by Pyrotecnico, the same company that does the Red, White & Boom show in Columbus -- which will take place the day before, July 3, in downtown Columbus.
"It's a great local fireworks display, one of the things that makes Grove City a great place to live," Merritt said. "It's just a lot of fun, a great family event."
Turnout is projected to be between 3,000 and 12,000.
"That doesn't even include the surrounding neighborhoods and schools" where people gather to watch the fireworks, Merritt said. "It all depends on the weather."
The Beulah Park thorughbred horse racetrack officially closed after its final day of races May 4. Continental Real Estate Cos. is in contract to buy the 213-acre site from owner Penn National Gaming Inc., which is moving its racing license to a track in the Youngstown area.
Continental plans to redevelop the property with mixed uses, including housing, but so far no plans have been announced or submitted to the city for review.
That leaves the future of the Blast at Beulah beyond 2014 uncertain.
"This could be the last year for this event at this location," Merritt said. "It all depends on what happens at Beulah. It's both exciting and nerve-wracking."
Admission is free, but there is a $5 parking fee. Those wishing to participate in the military ceremony should reserve a VIP seat by calling 614-277-3015 by July 1. Special parking and assistance is available for those with impaired mobility.
For more information about Blast at Beulah, call the Parks and Recreation Division at 614-277-3050 or visit grove cityohio.gov.
For weather-related cancellation information, call 614-277-3060 or visit the city's Facebook and Twitter pages. A rain date is set for Saturday, July 5.