In previous years, Grove City's Independence Day festivities have been held the Saturday before the holiday.

In previous years, Grove City's Independence Day festivities have been held the Saturday before the holiday.

But not this year.

"We actually moved our fireworks display to the Fourth of July," said Ed Merritt, Grove City Parks and Recreation Superintendent.

Blast at Beulah, Grove's City annual Independence Day celebration, returns from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Beulah Park, 3811 Southwest Blvd.

This year, Merritt said organizers wanted to put an emphasis back on the day itself.

"It's one of the events that make Grove City a great place to live," he said. "For me, it's always been a big family day."

The fireworks show begins at approximately 10 p.m. Once again, Pyrotechnico, the company which also provides fireworks for Columbus' Red, White & Boom, will produce the show. The program, expected to run between 15 and 20 minutes, will feature a mix of older and new patriotic music.

"Pyrotechnico does a great job of mixing it up," Merritt said.

Grove City is spending about $30,000 on fireworks this year, Merritt said.

"That's in line with what we've paid in previous years," he said.

In addition to the fireworks show, the event will feature a special ceremony at 8 p.m. recognizing veterans and active-duty armed service members. The ceremony will include presentation of the colors and a performance of the National Anthem.

Merritt said a special VIP section will be set up at the park for those veterans and service members. For those who wish to participate, they should a reserve a seat in the VIP section by calling 614-277-3015 by Monday, July 1. Handicapped parking and assistance are available.

There will also be a presentation by Ohio Magazine, which in October named Grove City the Best Hometown of central Ohio for 2012-2013.

Other activities include live music by Swings the Things and the Grove City Community Winds, a children's activities paddock and face painting offered by T.W.I.G. 184 in return for donations to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Admission is free, but parking at Beulah Park is $5. Walk-in attendees should enter at the Park Street entrance. The gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Blankets, lawn chairs, coolers and most other personal items are permitted, but alcohol, weapons, personal fireworks, pop-up tents and canopies and pets other than service dogs are not.

Vendors will be selling food and beverages.

For more information, visit or call 614-277-3050.

For event-day weather-related updates, call 614-277-3060 (option 1), visit or check the city's Facebook and Twitter accounts. The rain date is Friday, July 5.