Grove City's Independence Day celebration will serve as the midpoint of a week of special activities in the community.
The festivities will kick off Saturday, June 30, with an open house at the Grant-Sawyer Home and conclude July 6 with an evening of activities, including a Summer Sizzle concert, at Gantz Park, 2255 Home Road.
The Independence Day celebration will be held from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, at Grove City High School, 4665 Hoover Road.
Parking lots will open at 5:30 p.m., and the fireworks are expected to start at 9:50 p.m.
"Our fireworks show is going to be bigger and better this year," said recreation supervisor Kelly Sutherland. "We decided to go with a DJ for music rather than having bands, and took the money we saved and used it to enhance the fireworks.
"The show will be about two minutes longer and we'll have a bigger finale," Sutherland said.
Residents will be able to watch the show from the school's stadium bleachers or in areas outside the fenced-off launch zone.
A free children's activities area will include games, inflatables and a rock climbing wall on the Grove City High School training field. The children's area is sponsored by the city and the Grove City Church of the Nazarene.
"The high school is a great location for our fireworks show because it's so centrally located," Sutherland said. "A lot of people can watch the fireworks in their yard and tune to QFM96 and listen to the music selected to accompany the display."
Residents can bring blankets, lawn chairs and most other personal items to the event. Prohibited items include grills, alcohol, weapons, personal fireworks such as sparklers, skates, skateboards, pop-up tents and canopies and pets other than service dogs. All carry-in items are subject to search.
Coolers will not be allowed in the stadium, but food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Parking will be restricted to one side of the street from 5:30 to 11:45 p.m. July 4 in the Briarwood, Hoover Crossing, Marthas Wood and Clark Drive neighborhoods.
Free parking will be available at the high school, Grove City Church of the Nazarene and Windsor Park. Parking also will be available at Murfin Field for a fee to support the Grove City Kids Association. Hoover Road will close to southbound traffic from White Road to the Nazarene Church beginning about 9:40 p.m.
All traffic exiting the north high school exit will be directed north on Hoover Road. Traffic exiting the school's south exit will be directed straight across onto Gershwin Avenue.
A rain date for the fireworks is set for Thursday, July 5. Other activities will not be rescheduled.
Event-day weather updates will be available by calling 614-277-3060 or checking Grove City's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages @GroveCityOhio.
The Independence Day week of activities will begin June 30, when the first floor of the Grant-Sawyer Home will be open to visitors.
The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the site, 4126 Haughn Road.
"We have the house open for tours, by appointment, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and we also open the house for downstairs walk-throughs in June, in the fall and at Christmas time," said Steve Jackson, president of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society.
The regular tours are conducted by appointment, in part because they are limited to10 people at a time to permit safe access up the stairs to the second floor, he said. Appointments can be made by calling the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum at 614-277-3061.
On June 30, visitors will be able to view the home's dining room, parlor and kitchen and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and provide a short history of the house, Jackson said.
A citywide bell ringing will be held at noon.
"We're inviting all of the churches and anyone who has a bell to join in and sound their bells at the noon hour," Sutherland said.
"In the olden days, the community marked special occasions like Independence Day by having all the bells in the city ring," she said.
"And in the days before cellphones or even telegraphs, the ringing of bells indicated there was an important announcement or some news in the community."
"In the days when there were volunteer fire departments, they would ring the bells in the community to alert people that there was a fire and they needed to get out of bed and respond," Jackson said.
The historical society will be ringing the four bells it owns, he said. One of the bells is at the Grant-Sawyer Home and the other three are at Century Village.
"The (Grant-Sawyer) home is a good spot to hear several of the bells in our community as they ring out at noon," Sutherland said.
The Grove City Museum and Welcome Center, 3378 Park St., will be open from 8 a.m. to noon June 30, featuring a display by the Daughters of the American Revolution honoring local Revolutionary War veterans.
The city will kick off National Parks and Recreation Month with activities from 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 6 at Gantz Park.
The National Recreation and Parks Association's Parks and Recreation Month is designed to highlight the programs and activities offered by local parks departments across the nation.
"We're offering a kind of open house at Gantz Park to showcase one of our most popular parks," Sutherland said.
Residents will be able to tour the Gantz Farmhouse and Barn, meet the Gardens at Gantz volunteers and Garden Sprouts youth gardening group and enjoy amenities including the paths and playground, she said.
"We'll be holding our regular Friday night Summer Sizzle concert at the park with a performance by the Central Ohio Brass Band," Sutherland said. "We're fortunate to be able to have them perform in our community. It's their last concert of the summer before Labor Day."
Even after Independence Day week is over, Grove City residents will have plenty of recreational opportunities.
Ongoing programs include Theme Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Big Splash, 2831 Southwest Blvd.; the Fryer Flicks on the Hill outdoor movie series at dusk Thursdays at Fryer Park, 3899 Orders Road; and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. most Fridays, the Summer Sizzle Concert Series featuring regional acts performing in the George Edge Music Park on Broadway (at Park Street).
"We have plenty to do every day at the 21 parks in our community," Sutherland said.