BEND AREA — A huge celebration is being planned in the Bend Area for Independence Day, with the celebration beginning in New Haven, then moving on to Mason, and finally to Middleport, Ohio.
New Haven will kick off festivities Saturday with a parade beginning at 11 a.m. Line-up will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the community center on Layne Street. The parade will proceed to the fire station.
World War II veterans will be honored guests in the parade, according to New Haven Recorder Roberta Hysell. A ride for any WWII veteran will be provided, and veterans need to contact the town hall at 304-882-3203 to let Hysell know if they are going to participate.
Following the parade, a ceremony will be held at the veterans memorial next to the fire station. According to Smith-Capehart American Legion Post 140 Commander David Sigman, an American flag in a presentation box will be given to one combat veteran from WWII.
Mason’s parade begins at noon, with line-up starting at 11:30 a.m. on Martin Street. The parade will travel up Second Street, turn left onto Pomeroy Street, and proceed to the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. Walkers are welcome to wait and join in at the fire station, if they so choose.
Activities at the park will continue throughout the afternoon. A bounce house, slide and bungee jump will be set up, and there will be children’s games, including a water balloon toss, watermelon-eating contest and basketball shoot. Cash prizes will be awarded.
There will also be a cornhole tournament, music and karaoke by Kip Grueser, and a fire truck and police car for children to view. Refreshments will be available for purchase, including chicken barbecue by the Wahama Band Boosters, hot dogs by the Mason Recreation Foundation, and other goodies by the Mason United Methodist Church.
Following the Mason festivities, the celebration will then move to Middleport, according to Mason Mayor Donna Dennis.
In addition to the $6,000 Middleport spends on fireworks annually, the Town of Mason contributed an extra $1,500 this year, for a display that promises to be spectacular.
Prior to the 10 p.m. fireworks show, there will be kids games from 4:30 to 5:30 at the Dave Diles Park. A parade will begin at the Dairy Queen at 6 p.m., and “Remember Then” will be playing oldies music from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m.
For more information on the New Haven events, call the town hall at 304-882-3203. Details on Mason’s festivities can be obtained by calling 304-773-5200. for more information on Middleport’s celebration, call 740-992-5877.