Greene County News Report
XENIA — The city of Xenia will celebrate July’s First Fridays with a bang.
And some “ooohs” and “ahhhs.”
In addition to the normal activities associated with First Fridays 5-9 p.m., the Kevin Sonnycalb Memorial Fireworks Festival will take place at Shawnee Park beginning 4 p.m.
The festival features three bounce houses, face painting, outdoor laser tag for kids, a fishing derby for kids and adults, a children’s bike parade and BRACA’s movie in the park, all leading up to Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks at dark.
The kids activities run 4-8 p.m. The fishing derby begins 4 p.m., followed by the bike parade 5:15 p.m. “The Lego Movie” begins 9 p.m. and will be paused during the fireworks display.
Following the bike parade, ventriloquist/magician Mike Hemmelgarn will perform along with Blue Moon Soup, an acoustic folk quartet.
First Fridays will feature live music from Michael Locke & the Repeat Offenders on the courthouse lawn. The classic car cruise-in and the ChristStrength Gym Strongman Competition will take place along North Detroit Street.
The Food & Entertainment Court will feature family friendly music from DJ Rob Bullen, a bounce house and food from Ramen Rickshaw, Cork n Bottle, Sugar Shack, April Jean’s Kettlecorn and Irvin Concessions. Citywide Cheer will also have a special performance 7 p.m.
The Amazing Giants return to dazzle the crowds with colorful costumes and stilt walking skills while aerialists will leap, flip, and fly through the air during performances in front of the courthouse.
Cool Critters Outreach will be located on West Main Street for a hands-on experience with live animals.
A variety of vendors and local businesses will be providing games and giveaways at their booths for kids and adults. Many downtown shops will remain open during the event to offer First Fridays specials. The Flower Stop will be celebrating with red, white and blue bouquets for $3 each. Surf through new coastal merchandise at T. Lane Designs or stop by Xenia Shoe & Leather, which is offering 20 percent off all in stock regularly priced merchandise and free while-you-wait shoe shines — one per customer. “Red, White, and Blueberries” will be the theme at Sweets Boutique, showcasing a variety of fresh berry desserts and berry iced tea. There will also have a boxed lunch/dinner special: Sandwich, a side, a cookie, and drink for $7.50. Ha Ha Pizza, located on E. Main St., will continue serving up whole pizzas and salad bar throughout the night.
X*ACT Theater and Gallery, 45 E. Second St. has three ways to add to the First Friday celebration: a free gift with coupon available at the downtown X*ACT booth and at the gallery; a free fun art activity for children at the gallery; a free ticket for a chance to win a gift basket.
Silent Auction items will be available for bid at The Flower Stop. All proceeds directly benefit First Fridays. A walking tour hosted by the Greene County Historical Society will begin 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse and the Caboose at Xenia Station on South Detroit Street will be open to the public 5-7 p.m. First Fridays Bucks can be purchased at the new Kid’s Carnival in the Montgomery Insurance lot and every player wins a prize. Danny the Ice Cream Man will be serving up a truck load of tasty treats at the Kid’s Carnival.
Because of both events, North Detroit Street between Main and Church streets; Detroit Boulevards between East Church and Weaver streets; Edison Boulevard between Weaver Street and Park Drive and all of North Park Drive will be closed beginning Friday afternoon.
Plenty of parking is available at Xenia Towne Square, Xenia Station, City Lot No. 3 as well as several businesses along North Detroit Street.