Americana Festival hits 50-year mark, plans to expand this year

The Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival Independence Day Parade was held on July 5, 2021.  Organizers say this year’s festival will include more live music, street vendors and family-friendly experiences than ever before. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

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The Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival Independence Day Parade was held on July 5, 2021. Organizers say this year’s festival will include more live music, street vendors and family-friendly experiences than ever before. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

The Centerville-Washington Twp. Americana Festival will return to the streets of Centerville this summer, celebrating 50 years by expanding its options.

The event was cancelled in 2020 and “slightly modified” in 2021 to limit entertainment options and omit the arts & craft street fair and children’s area. This year’s festival will include more street vendors, food, live music and family-friendly activities than any past year, according to event organizers.

“A lot of the idea of back and new and better than ever, is the concept that we had nothing in 2020, we really cut back in 2021 and now we’re back in full force with our full set of activities,” said Americana Festival Committee Executive Director Keith Weiskittle.

Festivities launch Sunday, July 3, at the Centerville High School Stadium with a variety of food vendors on hand at the stadium entrance. A fireworks show is scheduled for 10 p.m.

The celebration continues Monday, July 4, with a 5K run, a parade and an auto show, Weiskittle said.

The amount of street fair vendors at this year’s festival will be increased to an estimated 325 from 250 in previous years, he said. That includes boosting the amount of food vendors from 30 to more than 50. The festival also will offer a wider array of live entertainment across multiple stages and venues, Weiskittle said.

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The Americana Festival is Ohio’s largest one-day festival, boasting more than 75,000 guests each year, event organizers said.

Longtime Centerville City Schools Superintendent Tom Henderson, who will retire Aug. 1, was chosen as the parade’s grand marshal.

“Our theme this year is ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Americana,’ ” Weiskittle said. “We looked for someone who kind of represented ... celebrating the past, the present and the future. The way we actually worked this out is Dr. Henderson will be riding in the parade with his son and grandson. We kind of like that idea of multiple generations reflecting the past, the present and the future celebrating Americana. His retirement (being) announced just this month was fortuitous and kind of pointed us in that direction. It was kind of a no-brainer.”

For the first time, the Americana Festival Committee is accepting applications online, both for the parade, and from food and craft vendors at www.americanafestival.org.


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