PREBLE/BUTLER COUNTY — Festivals and activities celebrating Independence Day abound this weekend, with several close by, whether you reside in Preble County or in nearby Oxford.
The Preble County Historical Society (7693 Swartsel Road, Eaton) will host its annual Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration on Sunday, July 3, with evening fireworks sponsored by Reid Health. The full-day celebration will begin at 3 p.m. with the return of the Cincinnati Circus trapeze and strolling magicians, Wild Hearts Zoo Animals, games, face-painting and more. Music will be provided by the Eaton Community Band & Chorus.
At 6 p.m., the 2016 Sara Swartsel Hall of Honor inductees will be recognized on The Amphitheater stage.
Hometown band, The Worley Boys, will follow the Hall of Honor induction, along with acoustic funk musician Kelly Zullo. At sundown, the fireworks display will begin, lasting about 30 minutes.
For the first time, the Historical Society will be collecting a $5 cash admission for each car; the fee will apply for the entire day’s activities.
A fireworks display at Natural Springs Resort in New Paris will also begin at dusk on Sunday, July 3.
Everyone can also celebrate Independence Day with Oxford Parks and Recreation this weekend.
Saturday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m., the parade begins at the corner of College and High Street and progresses east on High Street to Poplar Street. Patriotic music will be provided by the Oxford Community Band. At 7 p.m., Thunder Bay will perform as part of the Summer Concert Series. The group performs cover music ranging from country artist George Jones to Rocker John Cougar, to the Bee Gees. On Sunday, July 3, the festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford Community Park, with inflatable rides and games, raffles, community booths and music by DJ Toad. At 7 p.m., there will be a pie baking contest, with all pies due on site by 6:45 p.m. Pie bakers can win cash prizes. The fireworks display begins at 10 p.m. (Rain date is July 4.) The fun will continue on Monday, July 4, with special $1 admission at the Oxford Community Pool from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., along with music, pool games and prizes from noon-3 p.m.
The West Alexandria Celebration Committee is sponsoring their annual July 4 Celebration in the Park at Peace Park, beginning with a parade at 12:30 p.m. on Monday. There will be food vendors, music, games, contests and prizes. The Big Bang Boom Car Show runs from 4-7 p.m. Preble County Idol first round auditions will run from 2-4 p.m.
The annual “Lighted Parade” will line up at 9 p.m. in the Salem Lutheran Church parking lot and will begin its route for the Twin Valley South School parking lot at 9:30 p.m. The annual fireworks display will begin at 10 p.m. at the Twin Valley South School parking lot.
Hueston Woods will host “Thunder Tuesday,” presented by Touchstone Energy and the Hueston Woods Lodge, on Tuesday, July 5. There will be a cookout with a D.J. providing music from 5-10 p.m. Those who attend should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. A fireworks display will begin at dusk.