Fireworks are back

Two events celebrating Independence Day return to Hillsboro over the upcoming holiday weekend — an annual fireworks show and a three-day campout at the Highland County Fairgrounds.

Scott Lewis, organizer of the fireworks show, said it will begin at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 3. He said it will be broadcast with a “choreographed” soundtrack on iHeartRadio on 101.5 FM that “should” go with the same pace of the fireworks.

He said the show will be 15 minutes long this year, even though he wanted it to be 20 minutes. Because of the shorter show, there will be a band for the VIP and sponsor section of the show from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday. He also noted that a couple of good spots people typically watch the show from are the old high school, Lowe’s and First State Bank.

Lewis said there was a 15-year stretch in Hillsboro where there was no fireworks show, and that this is the fifth year since the show returned.

“For our community, I think it’s a fantastic event, and coming just out of COVID, it gives an opportunity for everyone to somewhat get back to some normalcy,” Lewis said. “Everyone tells me they appreciate it for sure… I’m a veteran. I think it was a shame that our community went that long without having any fireworks. We’re coming now on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I think it’s very important we have it, celebrating our country. I think it’s very important, now more than ever, that we’ve come out of Covid, that we’ve returned to having some normalcy and stability.”

Wayne Bowman, a Highland County Fair Board member, said the campout will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights this weekend, and ends on Sunday, July 4. He said it costs $100 for the three nights of camping and will also include games and other activities for kids like daily raffles, split-the-pot and a slip and slide.

He said the campout is limited to 40 campers and that there was room for about 25 more as of Wednesday morning. He also said this year is “probably” the fourth year it has happened, and that there will be another one in October, which will include a live band.

Bowman said that people can get more information about the campout or sign-up on the Highland County Fair Facebook page or on its website.

“It just lets people have a camp close to home, enjoy the fireworks, support local business,” Bowman said. “We have people from out of town that camp with us that have like friends that live locally and they come and they can come and camp and it gives them another reason to support the fair.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

Fireworks explode above Hillsboro during a past display launched from the Highland County Fairgrounds. explode above Hillsboro during a past display launched from the Highland County Fairgrounds. Times-Gazette file photo
Show coincides with campout at fairgrounds

By Jacob Clary