Wauseon, Swanton plan fireworks

By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@aimmedianetwork.com

Fulton County residents will have two opportunities this year to watch the rockets’ red glare for the Fourth of July.

In Wauseon, festivities will be held Monday, July 3 in Dorothy B. Biddle Park on Glenwood Avenue. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with five inflatables for kids. At 6 p.m., music will be provided by “DJ Loco” Nune Molina. Food vendors will be available, including Blooming Tasty Taters, Dawgs & Fixins’, Sno To Go, S&T Munchy Connections, Pop’s Home Made Ice Cream, and Tano’s Pizza.

The fireworks, a Wauseon Fireman’s Association venture in conjunction with the City of Wauseon, will be held at dusk. First Assistant Fire Chief Phil Kessler said there’s not a bad seat in the house.

“You sit anywhere in Biddle and you’ll have a great view,” he said.

The approximately $25,000 cost of the production assures a better show with improved choreography, Kessler added. The city fire department has about six members trained and certified in pyrotechnics through Legendary Entertainment of Richmond, Ind. The company provides and oversees launching of the authentic Chinese fireworks.

Preparation for the show began last fall. In December, Legendary Entertainment utilized a computer program to sync accompanying music precisely with the launching of the rockets. On the day of the event, workers will begin arranging the fireworks on special racks at 9 a.m.

The fire department revived the July 4th fireworks show five years ago after a long absence. Fundraisers help to finance the project.

“We’ve progressed well. This year’s show will be really great,” Kessler said.

Fire Chief Rick Sluder said the celebration will also be held July 3 the next two years, since July 4 falls on a weekday during that time. He said that allows city employees involved in fireworks preparation to complete it on a regular work day without requiring overtime. It also benefits spectators who would otherwise need to rise early for work the next day.

“It gives everybody the opportunity to enjoy the fireworks,” Sluder said.

According to Wauseon Assistant Police Chief Bill McConnell, Biddle Park will close to traffic that evening when lots are full, which usually occurs for July 4th between 9-9:30 p.m. Traffic will be directed into the park off Glenwood Avenue, and after the fireworks vehicles will be diverted north or south, depending on their parking location.

McConnell said exiting the park by vehicle can take 60-90 minutes. He said questions or other issues can be directed at officers on scene who will be in vehicles and on bicycle and foot patrol.

He also reminded visitors that no pets or alcohol will be permitted in the park.


Swanton will hold its Fireworks Fest on Saturday.

The fun will begin at 6 p.m. at Swanton High School with the fireworks display set off by the Swanton Fire Department scheduled to begin at dusk.

The cost of this year’s display is $25,000, not including the cost of labor for public safety crews on the day of the event. This annual event is funded primarily through donations, and local officials offered thanks to the Swanton area community for their support of this effort.

The rain date is Sunday.

Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the food and show. Parking fills up quickly so officials are asking attendees to plan accordingly. Traffic can also be congested after the show.

“My suggestion would be to please be patient with parking and please follow the directions of the volunteers directing traffic,” said Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle. “If everyone followed the directions it should make for an easy in and out traffic pattern.”

By David J. Coehrs


Drew Stambaugh contributed to this article

Drew Stambaugh contributed to this article