NEW MADISON — New Madison held its annual 4th of July celebration on Monday and Tuesday. Attendees at the two-day event were able to enjoy activities ranging from a performance by local musician Knox Morris, to a parade, to various contests and sporting events, all culminating in a fireworks display near the local school building.
According to Layth Scantland, a member of the New Madison Civic Association, the yearly event is a collaboration between Scantland’s group and the New Madison 4th of July Committee. While the 4th of July Committee deals with vendors, puts on events such as the Little Mr. and Miss Firecracker Contest, arranges the annual fireworks display, and conducts fundraising activities for the celebration throughout the year, the Civic Association is responsible for operating food and beverage concessions during the festival, as well as managing the cornhole, wiffle ball, and volleyball tournaments.
This year’s festivities began on Monday evening, with vendors and concessions setting up in the school parking lot, followed by a cornhole tournament and a performance by Morris at the Civic Center. Events continued early on Tuesday, with a pancake breakfast, wiffle ball tournament, and pet show unfolding throughout the morning, followed by a volleyball tournament and Little Mr. and Miss Firecracker Contest in the afternoon. A parade wound through downtown New Madison at 3 p.m., including participants from the Boy Scouts, Tri-Village Middle School Band, and several local fire departments. Finally, a Kiddie Tractor Pull and Big Wheel Race finished out the afternoon’s activities, followed by the fireworks show at 10 p.m.
“Fireworks and good food,” said 40-year New Madison resident Gwen Tinkle when asked about her favorite activities at the yearly event. Tinkle’s father helped organize the celebration for many years as a member of the New Madison Fire Department, before the city’s 4th of July Committee was formed.
“Fireworks,” Richard Purger of West Manchester agrees when asked about his own favorite part of the event.
Kami Hollinger has helped organize the 4th of July celebration for more than 10 years, and said her grandfather helped found the tradition decades earlier. Hollinger’s family and friends make up most of the 4th of July Committee, which has big plans for the event in the coming years, including efforts to bring carnival-style rides and games into the mix.
“We’re a family operation,” said Hollinger. “So our biggest challenge is getting enough people to help and donate their time.”
Scantland agrees, stressing that most of the activities put on by the Civic Association and its partners are volunteer-based, and that while the Association has a core staff of 8 to 10 “very active” members, they are always looking for more people who might be interested in getting involved.
“Our priority is to provide activities to give families a reason to stay here in town, rather than going to Dayton or Richmond,” said Scantland. “I would encourage anybody and everybody to take part in making those activities possible.”
The New Madison Civic Association’s next event will be the New Madison Open, a golf outing at White Springs Golf Club in Greenville, to be held July 22. Those interested can attend the Association’s regular meetings on the second Wednesday of every month, or contact Scantland at 937-459-7304. Those interested in donating or volunteering for the 4th of July Committee may call 937-423-3403.
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