FORT LORAMIE — The first Fort Loramie celebration of the fourth of July was held 50 years ago. This year’s parade grand marshals will be Jim Bornhorst, of Fort Loramie, Ron Winner, of Leesburg, Florida, and Mel Puthoff, of Naples, Florida, three of the five original organizers of the festival. The other two organizers from 1968, Leo Berning and Les Barlage, are deceased and will be honored on the grand marshals’ float. The parade has not been held for nine years but will return for this celebration.
“The biggest new event this year would be the return of the parade. We have moved the Little Miss Independence contest to Friday night so that will allow the Little Miss and Big Miss Independence contestants to ride in the parade route on Saturday at noon,” said Gina Boerger,
The Little Miss Liberty contest will be held 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. The Miss Liberty contest will be held at 6:30 p.m.
Rides open Friday at 5 p.m. and Saw Creek will perform from 8 p.m.- midnight.
“Saw Creek will be rocking it out on Friday night and they always draw a big crowd. We are so excited to have them back,” said Boerger.
Saw Creek plays top 40s Country music.
Fireworks will be held at 10 p.m. Friday.
“We are also excited to welcome back High-tech Special Effects for our fireworks show. Last year was the first year they were out and they put on a spectacular fireworks show! They can only be seen and experienced at the park grounds and there’s no doubt this year will be another great show. We have had great community support from our local businesses who donate money to put on our fireworks display. Due to the generosity of our donors, we will have an even bigger and better firework show this year to help celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said Boerger.
Saturday, June 30, will see a horseshoe tournament at 1:30p.m. Junior Trivia, bean bags, and bingo will be held at 2 p.m. The Kid’s Fun Zone will open at 2:30 p.m. and Balloon Geeks will begin offering free balloons at the same time.
“One nostalgic event that was brought back from the past for this year’s 50th anniversary is the greased pig contest. This will be for kids ages 6 to 11,” said Boerger. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. with registration at 7 p.m.
Karma’s Pawn will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight. The band plays high energy party music from the 60s-today.
Sunday, July 1, will see the rides opening at 11 a.m.
“On Sunday people can come and get their delicious barbecue chicken dinners from the Fort Loramie Community Service Club. Drive-through pick up will again be available,” said Boerger.
The dinners will be served beginning at 11 a.m.
Mark Cantwil will perform under the beer tent 1 to 4 p.m. From Ft. Loramie, Cantwil plays a variety of music about small-town America.
“New for this year is a Lift-A-Thon sponsored by the football team. There are Dodgeball and Volleyball tournaments that go on all day. The kids lip sync contest has been growing in popularity with more and more acts each year it seems. We also have a block of kids game such as good old-fashioned sack races, three-legged races, wheelbarrow races and water balloon toss. Another nostalgic event brought back for this year’s 50th anniversary is the kids money hunt. There are so many free events and activities for the kids to do at this festival. It is a great family atmosphere. We are looking forward to celebrating 50 years of patriotic fun next weekend,” said Boerger.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.