Dayton’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show will be different on two fronts this year — it will be significantly bigger than last year’s, and it won’t actually be in July.
Dayton’s fireworks will be tied, as usual, to the CityFolk festival, which brings arts, music and food to downtown, this year on June 28-30. The fireworks display will go off at 10 p.m. Sunday, June 30.
“It sounds funny because it’s in June, but it’s our way of boosting support for the CityFolk festival,” said Joe Parlette, the city’s interim director of recreation and youth services.
The city approved a two-year fireworks contract with Rozzi Company — which provides fireworks for the Cincinnati Reds and numerous regional festivals — for $60,000 per year. Rozzi last did the Dayton display in 2006.
Parlette said that $60,000 investment is the same as the past few years, but he said Rozzi’s proposal called for about 6,500 fireworks shells, or nearly 3,000 more than last year’s display.
“Last year’s show was outstanding, and to think we’re going to have 3,000 more shells in the same timeframe, you can only imagine what it’s going to look like,” Parlette said.
The fireworks will be launched from Deeds Point, making RiverScape MetroPark a prime viewing area. Parlette said there will be many more 200-foot shells this year that can be seen primarily from downtown, but also an increase in larger shells that can be seen from a distance.
The CityFolk festival will have gated entrances and will collect admission fees, but Parlette said those gates will come down at 6 p.m. June 30, so those coming solely for the free fireworks display can find their spot.
Kathleen Alter, executive director of CityFolk, said the fireworks day usually draws the biggest crowd of the festival weekend, with people who came mostly for fireworks seeing all the festival has to offer.
“Hopefully it draws new people to CityFolk,” she said. “It definitely benefits all of us.”
Several other local Independence Day celebrations, including Centerville’s Americana Festival and Kettering’s Go 4th event, will be held as usual on July 4, which is a Thursday.