This Saturday, the Canfield Fairgrounds will be host to two major events at once. The annual Canfield Rotary Fireworks and a special monster truck show.
The idea was actually born out of last year's Rotary fireworks display. Those attending last year's display may recall the monster truck "Bad Habit" that was showcased. It belonged to Joe Sylvestry, a local driver who volunteered to set up his truck for the fireworks show.
"This year, Joe asked to be part of our show with a separate event involving six monster trucks," said Mike Raulin from Canfield Rotary. "We wanted it to be a win-win for all concerned."
Raulin said the fireworks and the monster trucks will be two separate events. Families can enter the fairgrounds as in past years and pay $5 per vehicle. If they want to see the monster truck show, they would have to purchase tickets to the grandstand. The cost of the monster trucks would be $18 for adults and $12 for kids over 12 the day of the show. Raulin said advance tickets can be purchased for $15 and $10 from any of the local sponsors including Bob and Chuck Eddy's Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in Austintown, Shepherd's Self Storage in Boardman, Bellino's True Tread Tire in Canfield, Triple B Systems in Boardman and Bernard Daniels Lumber in Canfield.
Raulin also said the Rotary has added two more bouncers for the kids since they have become more popular.
The monster truck show as well as the fireworks event will start at 5 p.m. with the pits opening for driver autographs. The grandstand show will then take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Afterwards, those who paid to see the show can come out of the grandstand and enjoy the Rotary event that will include live bands.
As for the fireworks show, Raulin said it will be the biggest Zambelli display between Cleveland and Pittsburgh this year. After the show, he said a couple of the bands will stick around and jam together for an hour or more.
"We felt some may want to hang around for the music and that would ease the flow of traffic leaving the fairgrounds," he said. "It's much more than a fireworks display; it's time to spend with family and friends and features fair food, music by local bands, games and entertainment for the kids including eight Bounce A Rounds and face painting."
Local bands performing outside the grandstands will include JD Eicher, Magma Project Band and Dickey White. The rain date will be Sunday, June 30, at the same time, but some of the bands may not be able to attend due to other engagements.
On July 4, the festivities will move to the Green in Canfield with a variety of kids games, a free petting zoo, and the popular Firecracker Four Mile Race. The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. from the fairgrounds and will head to the Village Green.
This year's grand marshall has participated in Canfield's annual festivities for 30 years, but this year he will view the parade from a whole new perspective. Recently retired juvenile patrol officer Paul Lasky feels honored to have been chosen as this year's grand marshall.
Officer Lasky, a native of Sharon, Pa., graduated from Westminster College in 1975 and began what he thought would be a business career. But an elementary school presentation by a Pennsylvania State Patrol officer stuck with him and within a couple of years of graduating college with his business degree, he was hired as a reserve officer in Trumbull County. He attended the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy and in the summer of 1979, was hired by the Canfield Police Department.
Lasky served the city of Canfield for 34 years, and in that time has seen the job of police officer and the city itself - change dramatically. From a department with three cruisers, each equipped with three buttons controlling the red lights, siren and radio, to the specialized department of today with nine marked cruisers, a number of unmarked cars with modern technology, a K-9 unit, bike patrols, school resource officers and additional task forces, he says he's proud of the work he and his fellow officers achieved over the years.
In 1990, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program began in the Canfield schools, a program Lasky continued for 21 years. Lasky was named the school resource officer, a position he said helped him be able to reach out and positively influence juveniles as well as adults in the community.
Laskey and his wife, Cindy, reside in Canfield and he said he "is honored to be part of this small-town celebration of our nation's freedom"