MARIETTA - Antique tractors, parades, ice cream, a demolition derby and fireworks, Washington County will be a melting pot of July 4 fun.
The Washington County Fairgrounds will be the place for a bevy of activity starting at 10 a.m. Friday.
The gates open early for a craft show which runs until 7 p.m. There will be a magic show performed by Kerry Blair, inflatables and more, including the first-ever All-Terrain-Vehicle drag race.
"We wanted to do something different," said Fred Boyd, fair board president. "But we've also hired two bands to provide musical entertainment that will start around noon. There will be a bounce-house for kids, and at last count we'll have at least 25 crafters with booths in the Junior Fair Building."
In addition to that, the demolition derby will start at 7 p.m. Friday with fireworks to follow at 10 p.m.
Board Treasurer Sandra Hickey said it was once again a financial struggle to put on the fireworks show this year.
Washington County Fourth of July Activities
* Washington County Fairgrounds: Craft show, magic show, ATV drag races and demolition derby, fireworks. Gates open at 10 a.m. Admission is $6.
* Independence Day Parade: The parade will start 10 a.m. at Fourth and Butler streets, Marietta, and end at the armory on Front Street.
* Beverly Lions Club annual Antique Engine and Tractor Show: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fort Frye High School. There will be food and drawings for prizes. Fireworks to follow at 10 p.m. at the football field.
* Little Hocking Fire Department: Ice cream social will start at 4 p.m. with a parade at the Little Hocking Elementary School. There will be live entertainment, food and activities for children.
* The 20th annual Red, White and Blues Festival: Starts at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Lafayette Hotel. Tickets are $10 each. There will be food concessions by the Lafayette Hotel and beer concessions, including Budweiser and the Marietta Brewing Company. Music runs 7 p.m. to midnight.
* Independence Day Kick-Off Party: Second annual event will start at noon at the American Legion Post 64 Ballroom in Marietta. There is no admission cost and refreshments will be provided. There will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
"We could lose money if we don't get enough people coming through the gates on the Fourth," she said. "We don't really have the money to play with, but we wanted to have this for the community. So, a lot depends on how many people come to the fairgrounds."
The fair board is still looking for sponsors for the fireworks display, which costs about $5,000. The board does have sponsorship from Eramet in the amount of $500, but Hickey said more sponsors are needed. To make a donation, contact the fair board office.
Also on Friday, the Beverly Lions Club is holding its annual Antique Engine and Tractor Show at Fort Frye High School. The event kicks off at 9 a.m.
Walt Schaad, member of the Lions Club, said the event will take place right behind the school and that there is no cost to get in. He added that it's hard to say what kind of engines and tractors will make an appearance.
"There will be running engines," he said. "Last year we had a man that made cornmeal. We never really know what's going to show up."
He said a tractor parade will be held at 1 p.m.
"It'll go up through Beverly, about two miles long, out past the nursing home and assisted living home," said Schaad. "The people there might be able to come out and watch it."
Other July 4 events across Washington County include the annual Independence Day Parade and Celebration in Marietta, which starts 10 a.m. at Fourth and Butler streets. The route follows Fourth Street, Putnam Street, Second Street, Butler Street and Front Street, ending at the Armory.
The Little Hocking Fire Department will be holding its annual ice cream social at 4 p.m. following a parade at Little Hocking Elementary School.
The 20th annual Red, White and Blues Festival will start at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Lafayette Hotel. Tickets are $10 and there will be food, craft beers and a big lineup consisting of: Angela Perley and the Howlin' Moons from Columbus, The Noah Witherspoon Band from Cincinnati and Patrick Sweany from Massillon. There will also be a fire show by The Burning Dawn, of Marietta.