Red, White & Boom!
Fireworks display will precede bicentennial events
July Fourth festivities in Columbus will start with a boom and end with some tunes.
Red, White & Boom!, the annual Independence Day celebration capped with a fireworks display, will kick off several days of activities to commemorate the city's bicentennial.
Boom! will offer a day's worth of activities starting at 11 a.m. July 3.
Among the attractions are live music held at five stages throughout downtown. One of the concerts will feature the Celebrate Columbus in Song finalists, who will perform from 2 to 5 p.m. in Bicentennial Park.
The parade, to be preceded by a flyover of military jets, will start at 6 p.m. on the west side of the Town Street bridge near COSI.
The opening of Washington Boulevard, Bicentennial Park and Broad, Rich and Main streets on both sides of the river will allow for more activities, vendors and spectator space, said Michael L. Collins, president of Promotions One Inc.
As for the fireworks display, "There's going to be something extra special that's a happy birthday to Columbus," he said.
The cost of the event is $600,000, paid for by corporate sponsors and concession and beverage sales, Collins said.
Additional information about the event and a site map of the downtown area are available at redwhiteandboom.org.
July 5-7, a slew of activities will be presented by Ohio Homecoming, an organization that plans events showing off the civic pride of Ohio.
July 5, a day of service projects, known as "300 Deep," is slated for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grace Brethren Church, 8225 Worthington Galena Road in Westerville.
The city of Columbus will be training 300 people to hang 20,000 door hangers on 20,000 houses. The literature will contain information about the recently implemented curbside recycling program, said Alonzo Mitchell III, managing partner of Ohio Homecoming.
Volunteers can register at Ohiohomecoing.com, where tickets to all events can be purchased. Those who participate get a free ticket to any Ohio Homecoming event.
Later that day, mix masters representing a diversity of age groups, backgrounds and musical genres will provide music in "DJs in the Park after Dark," slated for 8 p.m. to midnight in Genoa Park downtown.
Among the performers is Mix Master Ice, a New York native and current Columbus resident who's considered a pioneer in the hip-hop movement.
Admission is $5 for those who purchase tickets before July 1 and $10 after that. Because beer is being served, the event is open only to ages 21 and older.
Also, there will be food trucks, a vintage T-shirt shop selling clothes and a one-of-a-kind art display.
From 6 to 9 p.m. July 6, "STOMP to the Ballot" step show will be held in Genoa Park.
The event, presented by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, features eight adult and two youth teams that will step for a chance to win $10,000 in cash and prizes.
STOMP -- which stands for Stepping to Overcome Major Problems (Now) -- also includes a voter-registration component.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate.
The "Battle of Ohio" charity basketball game is scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. July 7 in St. John Arena.
Team Columbus and Team Cleveland will vie for $5,000 in charitable donations.
Former Buckeyes Evan Turner, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale, Jon Diebler and Scoonie Penn, who have played professionally in the NBA or international leagues, will join other celebrity players in the game.
Tickets for those age 12 and younger are $5, $10 for Ohio State University alumni or students with college identification and $15 for general admission.
"This will probably be the biggest and best celebrity basketball game in Ohio history," Mitchell said.
Later that evening, the "I am Ohio!" bicentennial concert is slated for 7 to 10 p.m. in Bicentennial Park.
Sugarfoot's Ohio Players, the Dayton-based act fronted by Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, will headline the concert, which also will feature a medley of different genres and groups that call Columbus home.
Admission is free.
Immediately after the concert is a "bicentennial affair" party at the Vault, 35 E. Gay St. downtown.
Details about tickets are available at the Ohio Homecoming website.