West Jefferson Streetfest to move entertainment and vendors
By Kevin Dye
The West Jefferson July 4 Streetfest is becoming much more of a streetfest this year as the event has had to shift from its traditional location.
For many years the parking lot at the FirstMerit Bank had been the main staging area for the live entertainment tent and the vendors tents. This year the festival organizers were told that the parking lot would not be available for the July 4 Streetfest; the group then looked for another solution.
What they came up with is moving the entire West Jefferson July 4 Streetfest onto Center Street. With the cooperation of the West Jefferson United Methodist Church they can also utilize some areas in front of the church.
While some might fear change, committee chairman Bob Harper said the change might improve the Streetfest.
“We had to move the July 4 Streetfest since we could no longer use the parking lot,” Harper said. “We have been told that it is a joint decision between FirstMerit Bank and Pohlman Properties. We have always blocked off Center Street from Main Street to Jones Street and we parked support vehicles behind the last rides. We will be moving everything south on Center Street to Jones Street, so for residents on Center Street it will not be that different, maybe just a little busier.”
Harper said that the entertainment tent will be located on Center Street at Main Street and will face toward Center Street. The West Jefferson United Methodist Church has given the July 4 Streetfest committee the permission to use the grassy areas in front of the church, along Center Street, and that craft tents could be located along that area or at the end of the midway at Jones Street.
This year the West Jefferson July 4 Streetfest opens at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 1 and concludes with a 10 p.m. firework display on Wednesday, July 4. There will be live entertainment, rides, games and great food available during the festival.
The July 4 Streetfest Committee operates on any profits they make through the festival and through donations they receive from local businesses and residents. Chairman Harper said that donations from large businesses have really dropped in recent years and if things don’t pick up they may have to cut the length of the fireworks display next year.
Those residents and businesses who are interested in making a donation to the Streetfest can mail a check directly to West Jefferson July 4 Streetfest, 880 Crescent Drive, West Jefferson, OH 43162. Cash donation cans should be in several business locations around town by next week and there will be a donation area during the festival in front of Galbreath Hall.
Volunteers are also needed and if you would like to volunteer to help with the event you can contact Bob Harper at (614) 879-8840.
One of the main events during the July 4 Streetfest is the Patriotic Parade, which will be held on Wednesday, July 4 with the line-up beginning at 10 a.m. The parade will begin promptly at 11 a.m. Military entries, local dignitaries, elected officials and the West Jefferson High School Band will assemble on Eastgate Avenue. Antique cars, walkers, pet entries and decorated bicycles will assemble at the Professional Building at the intersection of West Main Street and Mary Street. All other parade entrants will go to Inwood Road, where someone will direct you to the area for your type of entry.
After the ceremonies, trophies will be awarded to the winners of tractor and float entries. Winners of walkers, pet entries and decorated bicycles will receive cash prizes in first, second and third place categories. For more parade information you can contact Paula Martin at (614) 565-4949.