Fireworks, food, fun on tap for July 4 celebration
Marysville's July 4 celebration will be full of fireworks, a parade and family fun.
The annual Independence Day parade starts at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Park and will proceed down Fifth Street to Plum Street and over to Sixth Street, ending at the Union County Courthouse parking lot.
Agape Community Fellowship of Marysville will host its annual Family Fun Day from 4 to 8 p.m. on the front lawn of the old Marysville Middle School, 833 N. Maple St. The seventh annual event features a bounce houses, free food, snow cones and balloons.
The Rev. Gene Miller said the church originally started hosting Family Fun Day at Creekview Intermediate School.
"On the way home one day, I saw all the people gathering on the lawn of the old middle school building to watch the fireworks," he said. "We always talk about being the church outside our four walls -- taking Christ's love to the community. It just made sense to take it to where the people were."
So the church moved Family Fun Day to the Maple Street location.
Last year, the congregation served 700 to 800 people, but by the end of the evening, there were about 2,000 to 2,500 people on hand to watch the fireworks, according to Miller.
"At Agape, we try to live up to the example that Jesus set for us; to love unconditionally," he said. "There is nothing you can do to earn it. Just like this Family Fun Day -- there is no charge, there is no donation bucket.
"It is all free. It is just our simple way of saying Jesus loves you," said Miller.
Fireworks will launch from the Union County Fairgrounds at dusk.
Marysville Fire Department Lt. Keith Watson cautions residents to keep safety in mind.
"Fireworks are dangerous, not to mention illegal," he said. "This Independence Day, the Marysville Division of Fire reminds you to stay safe."
The fire department offers these safety tips:
* Do not buy fireworks to use at home.
* The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display by trained professionals.
* Never allow children to play with fireworks, including sparklers.
* Even though some parents consider sparklers to be "safe fireworks," they can reach temperatures of 1,800 degrees and easily ignite clothing. Sparklers are a leading cause of firework-related injury.
* Firework-related injuries often happen when a parent or an adult is present. Therefore, supervision alone is not enough to prevent serious injuries.
* One in four firework-related injuries to children occurs to bystanders. Even if children are not allowed to touch fireworks, they can still be seriously injured if they are around others who are using fireworks.
* All fireworks are inherently dangerous. Consumer fireworks cannot be legally discharged in Ohio. For those who choose to use novelty items, the State Fire Marshal's Office urges extreme caution.
Also, most fireworks require a source of ignition, creating other hazards associated with supplying children with matches or lighters.
* Under Ohio law, stiff penalties can be applied for the illegal possession or discharge of fireworks. It is a first-degree misdemeanor for non-licensed individuals to discharge fireworks in Ohio, to falsify an application when purchasing fireworks, or to possess them for more than 48 hours without taking them to the designated out-of-state address.
First-time offenders are subject to up to a $1,000 fine and six months imprisonment.
* Report the use of illegal fireworks to a local law enforcement agency.
"Enjoy the parades, the cookouts and the celebrations, but leave the fireworks to the professionals," Watson said.