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Centerville's Americana Festival to start with a bang this year

What began in 1972 as a sidewalk sale promoted by the Centerville downtown merchants is now one of the area's most celebrated and patriotic Fourth of July events. 

The 45th Annual Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival kicks off on Tuesday, July 3 with an epic firework display at Centerville High School followed by a daylong street fair celebration.

This year's theme is Celebrating 50 Years of Centerville History -Working Together... Growing Together... Celebrating Together. Here are a few reasons why you should venture into Elk Country this holiday weekend. >> The best places to celebrate the Fourth with fireworks, food and fun

1. RUN A 5K

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Centerville's Americana Festival parade makes its way down West Franklin Street Saturday. The festival, which was expected to draw over 75,000 people, featured the parade with over 120 units, a 5K run, a street fair and fireworks. LISA POWELL / STAFF (Lisa Powell)

The Up and Running Americana 5K Run/Walk starts at 7:30 a.m (though competitors must arrive by 7 a.m.) July 4 at the Centerville High School Stadium on East Franklin Street, and follows the parade route down Franklin Street to just past Magsig Middle School, where the runners and walkers will turn around and head back to the high school. The race finishes with a lap around the track in the stadium. The race is chip timed and results will be available immediately at the race. Register here.

>>RELATED: The best places to watch the fireworks around Dayton

2. WATCH A PARADE

Spectators along the Franklin Street route of Centerville's Americana parade Friday, one of the area's largest annual Independence Day festival events. JIM WITMER / STAFF (Jim Witmer)

The parade begins at 10 a.m. July 4 on East Franklin Street, west of Centerville High School, and proceeds West to Cline Elementary on Virginia Avenue. Showcasing more than 120 units, the parade features numerous bands, floats and numerous mobile and walking units. If you can’t make it to the parade on July 4, watch it live on Spectrum Channel 5.

3. Shop the street fair

Despite rain on the Fourth of July, thousands of people attended the 2013 Centerville Americana Festival. (www.whiotv.com)

Featuring 300 craft and food booths, artists, musical entertainment and a children’s game and activity area, the Street Fair also showcases staged and strolling performers. The arts, crafts and food booths are located on North Main Street, from Franklin Street north into Benham’s Grove, East on Iron Gate Park Drive and at the park district Activity Center with the children’s activities. Unique crafts including handmade jewelry, clothing, furniture and other woodcrafts, folk art, stained glass, artistry and many other enticements will be featured. 

>> PHOTOS: Americana Festival 2017

4. Eat all the things

Centerville's Americana Festival parade makes its way down West Franklin Street Saturday. The festival, which was expected to draw over 75,000 people, featured the parade with over 120 units, a 5K run, a street fair and fireworks. LISA POWELL / STAFF (Lisa Powell)

Food is always a major attraction at the Americana Festival and this year offers many delicacies to appeal to all appetites. Chinese, Cajun, Greek, BBQ Ribs, Turkey, Pork Chops, Ice Cream, Shake-ups, Hot Dogs, Kettle Corn, Candy, Fudge, Root Beer Floats, Chocolate Covered Bananas.  Foods can be enjoyed at sit-down dining locations, various other locations along the street, or you can stroll from booth to booth with your favorite hand-held foods, snacks and beverages.  There also will be food vendors at Benham’s Grove, the Children’s Area and at the fireworks. >> How many of these summer bucket list activites have you checked off?

5. Fireworks

Juliana Montoya, 6, of Centerville wore festive head gear to Centerville's Americana Festival Saturday. The festival, which was expected to draw over 75,000 people, featured the parade with over 120 units, a 5K run, a street fair and fireworks. LISA POWELL / STAFF (Lisa Powell)

The 45th annual Americana Festival begins with a bang on July 3 at the Centerville High School Stadium, 500 E. Franklin St. The fireworks show leads into the festival on the holiday. A variety of food vendors will be on hand at the stadium entrance. Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks show lights up the sky at 10 p.m. and is synchronized to music provided by Jack FM 92.9. The Miami Valley Hospital South Fireworks show lights up the sky at 10 p.m. The pre-fireworks show will feature a musical performance by Cincinnati cover band 3 Piece Revival.

Don't forget to pack your sunscreen for this all-day patriotic adventure!

>> Where the best picnic spots in Dayton are

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Centerville - Washington Township Americana Festival

WHERE: Downtown Centerville

WHEN: Music and fireworks from 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, July 3.  5K, parade and festival 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, 2017. Get a complete schedule here. 

COST: Free 

INFO: (937) 433-5898 or americanafestival.org

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