Next week marks the 243rd anniversary of Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and declared that the 13 American colonies were now free and independent states.
These days we celebrate Independence Day with flags, bunting, picnics, barbecue and fireworks —lots of fireworks. John Adams, founding father and future president, predicted we would do exactly that.
After the Congress adopted the declaration on July 2 (Yup, they adopted it on July 2, but waited until July 4 to announce it), Adams wrote a letter from Philadelphia to his wife, Abigail, who was back in Boston.
“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America,” he told her. OK, he got it wrong about what date we would actually remember, but in the rest of the letter, he was spot on.
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
Bonfires and illuminations! These days we call that fireworks. “Shews,” by the way, was the way Adams spelled “Shows.”
July Fourth may only be one day, but the celebrations last all week long, giving the entire Oxford community plenty of opportunities to join in the festivities.
There will be plenty of celebratory events next week. To help you keep track, we’ve made a list of Independence Day events and celebrations happening in and around Oxford.
Oxford Freedom Festival: Parade and Uptown Music Concert
Tuesday, July 2 from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Decorated floats, cyclists, and costumed pets will be parading through uptown Oxford. The parade will start at the corner of College Avenue and High Street and will progress on High Street to Poplar Street.
Candy will be thrown to the crowd from floats, and booths and games will be set up on the grass, courtesy of the Miami University Athletics Department. At 7 p.m., SOHIO, a local rock band, will take the pavilion stage. Guests are invited to set up lawn chairs and enjoy the music.
Oxford Freedom Festival: Games and Fireworks
Wednesday, July 3 from 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
The Oxford Independence Day Celebrations will continue at the Oxford Community Park (6801 Fairfield Rd). This family friendly event will include free activities for all ages such as inflatables, a trackless train, balloon animals, giant human foosball, face paintings, and a gaga pit. Hot air balloon rides and concessions will also be available. There will be a $5 parking fee. Fireworks will begin at 10:00 p.m.
Middletown’s Fourth of July Fireworks/Broad Street Blast
Tuesday, July 3 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Middletown’s Smith Park will be featuring live music from artist such as Thunderstruck, an AC/DC tribute band, and The Magnums, a local rock band. The Magnums will play from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., followed by a performance from Thunderstruck from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. The celebration will end with a night Pyrotechnic Skydive show with Team Fastrax Skydivers at 9:45 p.m., followed by Rozzi Fireworks.
Fairfield’s Red, White & Kaboom!
Wednesday, July 3 at four locations.
Fairfield will host Independence Day celebrations at four official locations all from which guests can view the Rozzi Fireworks show Red, White & Kaboom: Harbin Park, Village Green Park, Marsh Lake, and the Fairfield Aquatic Center.
Harbin Park and Village Green Park will both feature barbecue, ice cream, funnel cake, and live entertainment starting at 8 p.m. Marsh Lake will offer fishing for $5 for non-season ticket holders starting at 5 p.m., and the Fairfield Aquatic Center will offer swimming and games starting at 7 p.m., with no admission cost.
Fireworks will be launched from Harbin Park at 10 p.m., and can be viewed from all four locations. Admission is free.
July 4th Parade in Hamilton
Thursday, July 4 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
On Independence Day, the City of Hamilton will present “Celebrating Hamilton’s 50 Great Parks,” it’s 2019 4th of July celebration. The 57th annual parade is one of the largest in the area and will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Butler County Fairgrounds, featuring over 100 units and five marching bands.
After the parade the City if Hamilton will feature a Patriotic Program at the Butler County Courthouse, the Taste of Hamilton, live music at RiversEdge, and fireworks at 10 p.m. Admission is free.
Hueston Woods Fireworks Extravaganza
Friday, July 5 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
This annual event is an Oxford favorite and will take place at the Hueston Woods Lodge, 5201 Lodge road. Hueston Woods will be hosting a celebration all across the park with family friendly activities at the beach, lodge and back lawn. Fireworks will begin at dusk and will be launched over Acton Lake, viewable from the lodge and all shore areas.
Admission is free. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets and pick a spot to enjoy the fireworks.