BLANCHESTER — Blanchester is know for its annual Independence Day celebration, but this year’s two-day festival will be even bigger — and more musical — than ever before.
The Blanchester Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Red, White & Blanchester Blue Festival is set for Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4.
This year will include a new time frame for the annual July 4th parade, as well as new hours for the festival.
Parade lineup at the high school will begin at 8 a.m. and will leave the school at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. Once the parade leaves the high school at 10 a.m., it will makes its way downtown on SR 28 and then circle back via Center Street.
“This change was due to the fact that the parade has gotten so large, we wanted to allow more time for those participating in the parade to be able to get back to their cars and back downtown in time for the free concert that starts at noon,” the chamber stated.
The theme for the parade this year is “100.” Get as creative with 100 in any way you can: 100 stars, 100 stripes, 100 flags, 100 people, 100 years. Get creative. The entry fee is $10 per float or vehicle. Trophies will be awarded.
Extended hours, more bands and more fun are packed into this year’s festival.
Starting on Wednesday, July 3 the vendor booths will open at 5 p.m. and stay open until dark.
From 5-6:30 p.m., San-ti Band will take the stage followed at 6:30 p.m. by a pie-eating contest.
At 7:15 p.m., local artist Raine Mari will take the stage and open for Blessid Union of Souls, who will play from 7:30-9 p.m.
Then from 9-11 p.m., local band Sam Burns & Orchard Circle takes the stage.
On Thursday, July 4, vendor booths will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Rides and inflatables will open at noon after the parade has had time to pass through downtown. This year there will be a rock climbing wall and electric tubs of fun ride, as well as inflatables.
From noon-3 p.m., Naked Karate Girls will take the stage for a family-friendly concert, followed by Quiet Storm from 3-6 p.m.
New this year will be a pre-fireworks party at the school with games, party music and family fun starting at 6:30 p.m. The biggest Rozzi fireworks display yet will take place at dusk.
Chamber Vice President Toni Barnes said that if anyone is interested in having a booth at a festival this year, this is the festival to be in: “The free concert lineup is sure to draw very large crowds.”
Booth space is available starting at $30 and the application can be downloaded from the Chamber website at www.blanchesterchamber.com.
Without the support of local businesses, this event would not be possible. Donations can be made on the chamber website, or mailed to BACC P.O. Box 274, Blanchester 45107. Every dollar is appreciated.
Major sponsors include The Laurels of Blanchester, McDonald’s, Evans Funeral Home and American Showa.