Johnstown will celebrate Independence Day on July 2, with a short program and fireworks at the high school stadium.

Johnstown will celebrate Independence Day on July 2, with a short program and fireworks at the high school stadium.

Don Jakeway, commander of Johnstown American Legion Post 254 and the Fourth of July Committee, said introductions will take place of Senior Citizen of the Year Lucy Tavener and Legionnaire of the Year Jim Foster during a program at the football stadium at about 8 p.m.

Concessions will be available at the high school stadium prior to the fireworks, which will launch at dusk, around 9 p.m.

"We have so many people who go to Belt Park, the Ascension church yard and municipal building that we're going to have a short program at the high school," Jakeway said.

Foster, 84, was chosen as Legionnaire of the Year by Johnstown American Legion Post 254.

"It's an honor," he said. "The members vote on it. I'm pretty proud of the Legion and the activities they carry on, like the Legion baseball."

Foster, a 1942 Johnstown-Monroe High School graduate, served in the Army infantry from 1944-46. During that time he was in the Battle of Okinawa, the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The battle, lasting 82 days, was from late March through June 1945. More than 38,000 Americans were wounded and 12,000 killed or missing, while the Japanese lost over 100,000 troops.

In the Johnstown community, Foster has been a member of the Lions Club for 25 years and the American Legion for 20-plus years, he said.

He and his wife, Irene, are the parents of four adult children. They attend Franklin United Brethren Church in New Albany.

Tavener, a life-long Johnstown resident, is a 1941 graduate of J-M High School. She is the daughter of the late Congressman William and Marie (Swank) Ashbrook.

"She has always been a community lady," Jakeway said. "She married John Tavener , an All American football player from Indiana. She's always around to help out. She's a very deserving woman."

Tavener worked at the Johnstown Bank, now National City Bank, for 39 years.

" I was president of it for three years before it merged with Bank Ohio," Tavener said. " I've been in real estate for 20 years."

She currently is employed by Key Property Realtors.

Tavener served as co-chairperson of the capital campaign to build the Mary E. Babcock Library and currently serves on the library board.

"I was active in all the school programs," she said. "I was on Licking Alcohol Prevention Program board many years."

She also served on the Licking Memorial Commission for 25 years, and she was recognized in Women of Achievement in Licking County in 2002 by The Woodlands, a women's shelter.

Tavener said she's humbled to be named "Senior Citizen of the Year."

"I think it's very wonderful," she added. "It's an honor."

In addition to recognizing Tavener and Foster, Little Miss Firecracker 2009 will be introduced prior to the fireworks.

Little Miss Firecracker will be crowned on Wednesday, July 1, at the pageant, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Johnstown-Monroe High School Performing Arts Center.

Director Colleen Vicroy said there's no cost to attend, but guests are asked to provide food donations that will go to the Johnstown Northridge Food Pantry.

Little Miss Firecracker 2008 Daylyn Merkle, age 6, will entertain the crowd and crown the 2009 contest winner.

This year's "princesses" are: Abby Adams, Sara Adams, Jaylynn Cornwell, Lily Sidner, Anna Hazelbaker, Lauren Mahle, Sarah Heutter, Bailey Stranges, Baylee Holbrook, Adalynn Triplett, Sydney Heutter, Emma McCombs and Amy Patton.