Americana Festival celebrates a sizzling Independence Day

CENTERVILLE — The highly-anticipated Americana Festival returned again this year, smashing some records as the community again celebrates the Fourth of July.

The festival draws more than 75,000 attendees annually. It features a diverse range of food vendors, arts and crafts, live entertainment. and a fireworks display from Centerville High School on July 3, according to the organization’s website. The theme for this year’s event was: Duty. Honor. Sacrifice. Honoring our Community’s Heroes.

Crowds were undeterred by the sizzling heat, as the street fair throughout Tuesday featured 200 craft and food booths, artists, musical entertainment and a children’s game and activity area. The street fair also showcased staged and strolling performers.

Organizers announced a record 60 food vendors and food trucks signed up for the July 4 street fair, a 50% increase from 2022.

Additionally, more than 200 units, including bands, floats, vehicles and walking units kicked off the event with the parade Tuesday morning.

In what has become characteristic for the event, folded up lawn chairs were lined along Franklin Street as much as a full week before the holiday.

Margaret Page and her children Bennett and Clara picked out their spot along the parade route around 9:20 Tuesday morning, 40 minutes before the parade kicked off with marching bands, floats, big rigs, horse-drawn carriages, a number of civic groups, Star Wars characters and even Santa Claus himself.

“This is the most impressive parade we’ve seen,” Page said.

Page’s husband is in the military, and is finishing an assignment in Louisiana before moving to join his family in the Dayton area later this year. Last year was also spent away from his family on the Fourth of July, in the Middle East.

“It’s important to honor the country and to remember to celebrate the founding of the country and all the things that make America unique,” Page said. “Even when things are divisive, I feel like (on) the Fourth of July everybody, no matter what your opinion, comes together and celebrates together.”

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