A double dose of fireworks will be offered in Highland County this year – one display on Saturday, June 30 at Rocky Fork State Park; and the other on Tuesday, July 3 at the Highland County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.
Both displays will begin around dark. The June 30 display is being offered by the Rocky Fork Community Alliance (RFCA) and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, with help from several local sponsors; and the July 3 display is being offered by the Lewis Financial Group with the assistance of the Highland County Fair Board and several local sponsors.
The Rocky Fork event runs from 5-11 p.m., and the fireworks display is expected to last a little longer than in the past couple years due to an expanded budget, according Diane Uhl, president of the RFCA.
In Hillsboro, the fireworks will be set off from the tractor pull area at the fairgrounds. Chris Lewis with the Lewis Financial Group said the parking area across Fairground Road from the tractor pull area will be a prime location to view the fireworks. He said 4-H members will be selling popcorn there as a fundraiser before the fireworks.
This will be the third year for fireworks in Hillsboro after a nine-year absence.
“It’s one of those things we kind of missed having in town,” Lewis said when his group, the city of Hillsboro, fair board and local sponsors brought the display back a couple years ago. “We were sitting around a few weeks ago and talking about how we had a fireworks display as kids and how it was one of those things we’d like to see come back. The city and the fair board got on board and it just kind of took off from there.”
Many people also watch the display from the former Hillsboro High School site and other locations.
“It’s free to the public and we hope everyone comes out and enjoys it,” Lewis said.
The RFCA event is titled Poppin’ & Rockin’ at the Lake and begins with a flag raising ceremony provided by the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard at 5 p.m. There will be deejay music the entire evening and the RFCA will provide hot dogs, chips, cookies and water while supplies last.
Rand’s Gourmet Cart, Tony’s Smokehouse and Kona Ice will be selling food and beverages. There will be a karate demonstration at 8:30 p.m. and Uhl said the RFCA will randomly pass out glow-in-the-dark bracelets and a few beach balls throughout the evening.
All those activities will take place in the North Beach area, which Uhl said also has new playground equipment and restrooms.
The fireworks will be set off from the South Beach area, and that area will be closed to the public.
When the fireworks are over, North Beach Road will be made one-way going out. Uhl said vehicles in the left lane will have to turn left and vehicles in the right lane will have to turn right, so the crowd can clear out quicker.
Uhl said the state park and RFCA have estimated that about 5,000 people attended the fireworks each of the past couple years.
“It’s just a celebration and our way of giving back to the community,” Uhl said. “We’d like to thank the ODNR, Marshall Township Fire Department, Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District and numerous sponsors for helping us be able to do this.”
She said donations for the fireworks display are being accepted on the Rocky Fork Community Alliance Facebook page; can be sent to Rocky Fork Community Alliance, P.O. Box 271, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133; and there will be donation jars set up the evening of the fireworks in the North Beach area.
Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks will provide the fireworks for both events.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]