The heart and soul of Canfield's 4th of July celebration are the volunteers who work year round to plan, organize, raise sponsorships and carry out all oft he little details that continue this community tradition celebrating the nation's independence.
"Without our volunteers, our wonderful sponsors and the Canfield community working so well together, we wouldn't have this incredible event year after year," said Enid Maldonado, who shares committee chair responsibilities with David Burch.
Started in 1966 by the Junior Women's League of Canfield, this day of festivities has included a number of events over the years such as a watermelon eating contest, a"Male Sexy Legs" contest in 1984, pet fairs and bed races. Also, in 1966, admission to the fireworks was just 50 cents. At that time, the fireworks display had been the responsibility of the 4th of July Committee, but due to increasing insurance and other costs, the committee wasn't able to effectively continue the display. Canfield Rotary stepped up and took over the fireworks, expanding the spectacular event every season.
Photo special to the Town Crier
The Canfield 4th of July Committee includes Mark Sabol, Jill Barton, Gary Hubbard, Jeff Moliterno, Steve Rogers, Committee Co-chairs Enid Maldonado and David Burch and John Craig. Committee members not pictured include Jim Queen, Chuck Colucci, Anthony Fusillo and Clare Neff.
Another tradition that has continued to grow each year is the Firecracker four-mile run. Started in 1975, this year's race is expected to have the largest number of runners ever participating, according to Steve Rogers, parade chairman for the 4th of July Committee. "Second Sole organizes the race each year. We actually have two races - the kids race around the Green which starts at 8:15 and the Firecracker 4 Mile at 8:30." Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in the Township Hall.
More than 40 participants are part of this year's parade, including the Cardinal Pride Marching Band, the Glen Mor Pipe Band, honor guards, antique cars and floats as well as local dignitaries and businesses. And, of course, clowns.
The festivities don't end with the parade. The North Green is transformed into a playground with games for kids of all ages. Games Chair Jill Barton and Anthony Fusillo develop and organize the activities, round up all the volunteers to help and plan the prizes so no child leaves empty-handed.
Making its debut on the Green this year is The Barn Yard, a traveling petting zoo whose main mission is to raise funds for the American Cancer Society while providing a fun experience for families.
Music abounds at the Gazebo with J.D. Eicher and the Goodnights performing at 8:45 a.m. before the parade and at noon. The Youngstown Symphonic Band takes the stage at 1 p.m.
The 4th of July Committee consists of parade organizers Jim Queen, Mark Sabol and Gary Hubbard, dignitary organizer Jeff Moliterno, antique automobile organizer John Craig, police Chief Chuck Colucci, Anthony Fusillo and Clare Neff.