Thanks to the generosity of the Delaware business community and other individuals, the city of Delaware's Fourth of July celebration will go on as in past years.

Thanks to the generosity of the Delaware business community and other individuals, the city of Delaware's Fourth of July celebration will go on as in past years.

Facing revenue shortfalls last fall, Delaware City Council chose to eliminate funding for the 2010 fireworks display and asked the community for donations to keep the tradition alive.

Council set a goal of $20,000 in order to present a show that equaled those of recent years, said city spokesman Lee Yoakum.

As of last week, the city had received more than $25,000 in pledges and donations, he said, including an anonymous gift of $5,000.

"We were unsure if $20,000 could be raised and now, thanks to this anonymous gift, we can guarantee for residents a show as grand as in past years," mayor Gary Milner said.

Byers Auto Group was first to pledge $5,000 to be the presenting sponsor, followed by Meijer, which gave $5,000 to be the grand finale sponsor. Later, Dominion Homes pushed the city over the $20,000 mark with a $5,000 gift. The city also received pledges from JEGS, Woolpert, Delaware Eagles 376, dentist Mark Springer, Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan, Turkey Hill, PPG Industries and Delaware County Bank. Citizens also donated and the Columbus Radio Group on its four FM radio stations provided promotional advertising.

The fireworks display traditionally caps a star-spangled Independence Day in the city that begins with the annual parade starting at 3 p.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and heading downtown.

After more than 25 years of sponsoring and organizing the parade, the Delaware Optimist Club turned that duty over to the Delaware County Farm Bureau.

"The parade has been a proud tradition in Delaware and we do not want to see the tradition end," said Larry Day of the Optimist Club. "We are very pleased that the Delaware County Farm Bureau is taking over the parade."

The theme for this year's parade is "Independence Grows in Delaware."

The local food pantry, People in Need Inc., will hold a food drive during the parade. Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item with them to the parade, where PIN staffers, board members and volunteers, pushing grocery carts along the parade route, will collect them.

"Summer has traditionally been a very busy time for our food pantry. School-aged children who would typically eat breakfast or lunch at school are now home for the summer," said Kevin Crowley, executive director of PIN. Additional food is needed to keep pantry shelves stocked to meet that need, he said.

For a list of the most needed food items go to PIN's website at

Before the fireworks display, the Central Ohio Symphony will perform its annual free concert for thousands of celebrators on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus beginning at 8 p.m.

The Hayes High School Junior ROTC color guard will open the concert.

Raffle winner Mary Jean Roach will conduct the orchestra in Sousa's "Washington Post March."

In honor of the program's 25th anniversary, the symphony has planned several extras, including the premiere of an orchestral arrangement of "Beautiful Ohio."

Composed in 1918 by Mary Earl, whose real name was Robert A."Bobo" King, according to information on the website Ohio History Central, "Beautiful Ohio" was voted the state song in 1969 and then all but forgotten.

Danny Clay has done his part to bring it back.

Clay, who next year will be a senior at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, is a 2007 Buckeye Valley High School graduate who has studied percussion with Warren Hyer, the symphony's executive director

Clay said Hyer asked him to write the arrangement of the song.

During the concert, the sun will set, and by the time The 1812 Overture's cannons have fired and audience members are clapping to Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," it will be dark and the fireworks show will begin.

The concert, conducted by Jaime Morales-Matos, will be held in Phillips Glen behind University Hall (which includes Gray Chapel).

Lawn seating is free. Chair seating in front of the Phillips Hall patio, which serves as a stage, is $3. Tickets are available at Beehive Books in downtown Delaware and at Buehler's Fresh Foods at 800 W. Central Ave., as well as at the concert.

Also premiering will be "American Frontier," by New York composer Ben Goldberg, the son-in-law of Delaware residents Fred and Joan Manter.

Also on the program will be selections from "West Side Story," music from the Harry Potter movies, and the Armed Forces Salute, among other pieces.

Delaware County Board of Commissioners president Tommy Thompson will narrate the program, and Brad Halley of Worthington will sing the national anthem.

If it rains, the concert will be moved to OWU's Branch-Rickey Arena.

The symphony continues to accept donations to help cover the cost of the concert. Donations can be made online at or by calling (740) 362-1799.