Blanchester traditionally does the Fourth of July up big, but plans are for this weekend’s Red White and Blanchester Blue to be its biggest-ever celebration, including food, fun and a huge fireworks show. This year’s theme is honoring the 50th anniversary of Vietnam veterans.

Come hungry, as the event will feature a wide variety of food vendors this year — your old favorites plus many new vendors. There will also be a wide variety of vendors selling items you can browse through including crafts, candles, hair bows, jewelry, Blanchester Wildcats jewelry, Blanchester logo shirts, wood items, make-up, painted barn quilt art, primitives, fishing lures, fitness products, fossils, coins, collectibles, and much more.

Beginning Friday, July 3 from 6 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m., there will be karaoke and dancing in the streets, along with a hot dog eating contest courtesy of Gold Star Chili, a pie-eating contest, courtesy of Kroger, and the 60-plus vendor booths to browse.

On Saturday, July 4, booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

At 11 a.m. the annual parade will leave Blanchester High School and make its way downtown. Anyone interested in being in the parade can register the day of the parade. Entry fee is $10. You must register by 10:30 a.m. to be announced as you pass the stage downtown.

Grand marshal for this year’s parade is Elmer Williams. In 1981 he was responsible for bringing back the Blanchester Area Chamber of Commerce, which had ceased to exist in the 1970s.

The inflatables will open up at noon. In addition to the antique car show, this year there will also be an antique tractor show.

The day’s entertainment includes: Noon to 2 p.m., Quiet Storm; 2-4 p.m., Noah Smith Band; and 4-6 p.m., Brent Keith Band.

The Red White and Blanchester Blue celebration will conclude with a huge fireworks display, that will take place at Blanchester High School at dusk.

Chamber president Lisa Beach said she was very pleased at the support from the local business owners with donations for this year’s fireworks display. Clinton Memorial Hospital and the Laurels of Blanchester each donated $1,000, Kroger, McDonald’s, Tufts Funeral Home, Hollon Trucking and American Showa donated $500 each, Bill Martin’s, Blanchester Foundry, Intelli Choice Insurance, JCR Tech, Panetta Excavating, Peoples Bank, BDK Feed & Supply $250 each, and UDF $300. Many other businesses also helped sponsor.

Beach also stated that this year for the first time, the chamber of commerce allowed business owners to sponsor the inflatables, with all of the profit made on inflatable ride tickets being divided equally among those that sponsored the inflatables. Those sponsors are First National Bank of Blanchester, Main Street Mall, Falgner Realty, Blanchester Legislative Committee, and The Book Farm.

Chamber Vice President Kari Dixon said not only did these companies sponsor an inflatable for the community to enjoy, but they are donating the proceeds to other organizations, such as youth soccer, youth football and the local library summer reading program.