Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Concerts at South added to 4th lineup

Originally published in Westerville ThisWeek News and online here

Wednesday June 10, 2015 2:19 PM

This year, the Westerville Fourth of July fireworks can be viewed from a new location and will offer more music than ever before.

From 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 4 on the athletic fields behind Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave., the Westerville Symphony will perform. Then the Westerville-based country band McGuffey Lane will perform from 8 p.m. until the 10 p.m. fireworks.

The fireworks still will be launched from Alum Creek Park South and behind Alliance Data.

Rotary Club of Westerville July Fourth Committee Chairman Dave Krebs said the Fourth of July concert series had been a dream of his and that planning began over a year ago.

"I just thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if there were activities between the parade and the fireworks?' And when I told people about the idea they all loved it and asked 'How can I help?' " he said.

Krebs predicts that 2,000 to 3,000 people will come out to enjoy the free Saturday concert series.

Community members are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the concerts.

Music accompanying the fireworks show will be simulcast on the radio station 104.9 The River.

Food trucks and other vendors will set up at the athletic fields from 5 to 11 p.m.

Krebs said the Rotary Club is taking a "leap of faith" that the concert series will be enjoyed by the community.

"We're offering up our own seed money this first year and we hope to show people what a great event this is and attract more sponsors for next year," he said.

Also on July 4, the Rotary Club will stage its annual 5K Run and Walk at 8 a.m. and Children's Fun Run at 9:15 a.m.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. Food for the Westerville Area Resource Ministry community food drive will be collected from attendees along the parade route.

The parade route runs north on State Street from Heatherdown Drive to St. Paul's Church, 313 N. State St.

"Love Country -- Love Westerville" is the theme for the Rotary's Fourth of July parade, chosen by Gavin Mager, a first-grade student at Alcott Elementary School.

Mager, a student in Jason McQuown's class, also won a $100 check and a place of honor on the Rotary Club's parade float.

The Rotary Club of Westerville sponsors the theme contest among Westerville school children, which this year drew 363 entries from students at 15 elementary schools.

"His theme was a good fit for what we're doing this year and everyone agreed that he was the clear winner," said Krebs.

The "Love Country -- Love Westerville" theme ties in perfectly to the new concert series, Krebs said.

Mager and his family were the guests of honor at the Rotary Club of Westerville luncheon April 23 at Villa Milano.

All classrooms with 100 percent participation in the theme competition also were entered into a drawing to win a pizza party.

The end-of-the-school-year pizza party was won by students at St. Paul School.