Thousands attend Centerville’s annual ‘Americana Festival’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Centerville parade

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Sydney Fowler saw a different side of the Americana Festival parade on Tuesday than she had seen before.

For the first time in a decade or so, Fowler watched the parade from the edge of Main Street instead of marching in it as she had with a dance team and a children’s theater in the past.

RELATED: What you need to know for the Fourth of July

“I marched in the parade for like the last 10 years of my life and this is the first year I’m actually watching it,” she said. “It’s kind of funny now.”

The Americana Festival is a Centerville tradition that celebrated its 44th year this July 4. It’s estimated that the festival welcomes more than 75,000 people and more than 100 volunteers.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
SKY 7: Americana Parade in Centerville

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Along with the parade, the festival offers a street fair with vendors selling crafts and food, a classic car and truck show, a 5K run with more than 1,200 participants and fireworks. Most of this year’s festival was dryer than 2016’s, when thousands still attended in the rain.

“It’s just so fun…it’s one of the biggest things Centerville is known for,” Fowler said. “It’s just a reason to get together and celebrate… it’s a tradition.”

HIGHER ED: Wright State’s Schrader lays out agenda for first weeks as president

The parade Fowler marched in at least 10 times and watched on Tuesday included more than 120 acts. There were floats, bands, horse-drawn carriages and a 10-foot tall uncle sam on stilts, among other things.

As Fowler watched the parade she marched in for years, Bennie Jones drove up from Kentucky to see the event for the first time. Jones and some friends were “scoping out” different craft booths and the wide variety of fair food, a staple of the annual festival.

John Muceus, a Centerville resident, was visiting the festival for the second time. While it was just his second year going to the event, he said he thought Centerville was the perfect place for it.

“It’s small-town America right here,” he said.

Like Fowler, Muceus said his favorite event was going to the parade with his family. Fowler, a Centerville native who recently graduated from high school joked that she’s officially “aged out” of the parade.

Although she may be done marching, Fowler didn’t rule out coming back for more of Centerville’s signature Fourth of July bash.

“Everyone’s around and having a good time,” she said. “It means a lot. I love it.”

About the Author