WEST ALEXANDRIA — Despite the rain, the Village of West Alexandria held its sixth annual Party in the Park to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The party was held on Tuesday, July 4, and featured craft and food vendors, a car show, and a lighted parade. The celebration, of course, ended with a firework show.
The Car, Truck, and Bike Show was sponsored by the West Alexandria Celebration Committee. There was a $10 entry fee. The first 50 entries received a goody bag. The Top Cars, Top Trucks, Top Bikes, and Best of Show all won cash prizes.
Best of Show went to Tommy Payne. The top six cars were: Ruie and Elaine Morris, Gary Wood, Carla Marker, Thomas Rhoades, Tommy Payne, and Dave Shufeldt. Top Truck went to Daniel, of Eaton. The top four bike awards went to Dave Johnson, Emma Bennett, Jefferey Bennett, and Randy Davis. Top Tractor went to Randy Davis.
At 9 p.m. the WA Lighted Parade lined up at Salem Lutheran Church. People were asked to decorate anything they could, including their bikes, wagons, cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf-carts, and selves. To participate all one had to do is show up. Any lights were allowed. The parade went from Salem Lutheran Church, to U.S. 35, to Ohio 503, all the way to Education Lane.
The fireworks show at Twin Valley Schools was also sponsored by the West Alexandria Celebration Committee.
According to Michelle Laughlin, West Alexandria Celebration Committee Secretary, the rain was a hindrance, but did not stop the party.
“I feel that the rain put a damper on the Party in the Park portion,” Laughlin said, “But it did not hurt our parade or fireworks.”
The Celebration Committee hosts the Fourth of July Celebration. Laughlin said, “The Celebration Committee is a small group of individuals who are doing our best to help our community and bring affordable and free events to our community. Through many fundraisers and some donations we raise money every year for our two big events for the community — July Fourth fireworks and Santa Villa.”
She added, anyone and everyone is encouraged to help out in any way.
“Many believe that the July Fourth fireworks are paid for with village funds. This is inaccurate,” she said. “The village itself is not allowed to contribute to the fireworks. The village and surrounding area citizens support the fireworks by supporting our fundraisers and by giving donations. It will cost $6,000 this year for our fireworks display. The company we use, American Fireworks, use fireworks that are all made in the USA. There is no cost to anyone who wishes to view the fireworks.
“The committee spends hours cleaning up from the fireworks every year including, but not limited to the ball field where the fireworks are set off, and the parking lot and roadway where people view the fireworks.”
The Party in the Park was completely funded through donations and fundraisers.
The next event that the Celebration Committee has planned is the Baked Steak Dinner Carry Out on Sunday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be at the West Alexandria Police Department. The meal is $7 and includes baked steak with gravy, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, applesauce, and a roll. To ensure that you receive a dinner, the committee is encouraging those interested to call Mayor Carol Lunsford at 937-839-4085 to order a dinner. However, they do prepare extra meals.
It is not just the fireworks that the Celebration Committee raises money for, as they also work for Santa Villa. The money raised from the steak meal goes to the fireworks, toys for Santa Villa, and repairs to Santa Villa.
In the next year, the committee plans to continue raising funds for Santa Villa and the fireworks.
“The committee would like to thank everyone who helped make the fireworks possible,” Laughlin said. “We would like to thank our fire department, EMS, and police department. We would like to thank everyone who braved the weather and visited us at the park. We would like to thank our family and friends who help in all ways whether it is volunteering when we need help, running errands for us last minute, or letting us borrow things we need. Thank you to everyone who participated in our lighted parade. If you have attended any fundraiser this year, bought a dinner, attended the Jamboree, placed change in a donation can around town – thank you! We could not bring the fireworks to the community without the support at our fundraisers.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH