Canal Winchester cancels Labor Day festival; Groveport sets Independence Day events

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Canal Winchester Labor Day festival logo

A second Canal Winchester signature summer event has been canceled for the second consecutive year because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and continuing health restrictions and protocols. 

However, the city of Groveport will hold its Independence Day celebration July 3. 

Those hoping to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival will have to wait another year. The three-day festival typically draws more than 30,000 visitors. 

The city earlier announced the cancellation of the Blues & Ribfest, held the last weekend in July. 

“We invited the Labor Day Festival board and committee chairs, who have been meeting since January, to discuss what we were going to do,” said Karen Stiles, executive director of Destination: Canal Winchester, the city’s tourism and economic-development promoter. 

“We took a vote and it was 100% unanimous to cancel the festival and replace it this year with a very small community event.” 

That event – CW Hometown Day – will be held Sept. 4. 

Organizers are continuing to plan details of the day, which Stiles said would be “something geared toward the Canal Winchester community and families.” 

That same weekend, the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society will hold its annual ice cream social from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Prentiss School, 10 W. Oak St. 

Stiles said Ohio’s current COVID-19 restrictions limit attendance to 30% for outdoor events. 

“These are not gated events, so there is no way to control that,” she said of the Labor Day Festival. “Even if we tried to move it to another location where it could be gated, we don’t have the electricity or water needed for food vendors and entertainers.” 

Canal Winchester held its first Labor Day Festival in 1920. 

Groveport to celebrate

Independence Day

Groveport’s annual Independence Day celebration will return this summer with a parade and fireworks on July 3, city Administrator B.J. King said. 

“We need to do it,” he said. “The last 14 or 15 months have been very difficult for all of us. We’re not made for quarantining and staying away.” 

The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will proceed down Richardson Road, travel west on Main Street and then onto Hendron Road before ending at Glendening Elementary School. 

Fireworks will be set off at dusk from Palm Pond in Heritage Park on Wirt Road. Musical acts will include Sirens and McGuffey Lane. 

“I see this not only as a celebration of our independence but also, ‘Hey, folks. We got through this and we’re very close to the end of it,’” King said. 

While the event will feature food vendors this year, there will be no children’s games or activities. 

The weekend also will feature the Ohio Flags of Honor traveling memorial, which honors the men and women of Ohio who lost their lives while serving the nation, specifically those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

The flags will be on display July 2-5 at Madison Christian Church, 3565 Bixby Road.  

editorial@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekNews