Mayor: Fairborn July 4 parade part of city’s fabric

Monday event is the centerpiece of two-day “hometown” July 4 celebration

FAIRBORN — A parade tradition spanning more than 70 years is a centerpiece of two days of Independence Day celebrations in Fairborn this holiday weekend.

The Monday morning parade follows an eight-hour Sunday block party and is held before evening festivities at Community Park.

The longstanding processional is woven into the fabric of Fairborn and evokes a deep sense of pride in the city, Mayor Paul Keller said.

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Its route includes the center of town, which features a memorial honoring veterans who fought for this country’s freedoms, in a city where nearly 10% of residents served in the military, some at nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“We get a really good turnout from the citizens,” Keller said. “They look forward to that parade. It’s part of Americana. It’s a hometown parade. (We’re) very proud of it.”

Fairborn’s first parade was in 1947, two years after World War II ended, and has occurred every year since but 2020, when it was cancelled due to COVID, according to Fred Pumroy of the Fairborn 4th of July Committee.

It’s “one of the largest parades” of its kind in the state and featured Ohio Gov. Bob Taft in 2007, he added.

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This year’s version will involve about 100 entries, including civic groups and community floats, officials said.

The committee announced it will honor former Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and retired sheriff’s office Deputy Phil Oakley, both of whom passed away in the past year, as posthumous co-grand marshals. Both widowed spouses will ride in the parade and be honored, organizers said.

The route includes Central Avenue to Main Street. Downtown roads will begin closing for the parade at 9 a.m., with a full closure of all streets along the route by 9:45, officials said.

On Sunday, the block party will take place from 2-10 p.m. in downtown. There will be vendors, food trucks, live music, plus craft and game vendors, according to the city.

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Main Street will close between Wright and Pleasant avenues on Sunday starting at 9 a.m.

After the parade, activities will begin at Community Park at 5 p.m. with food trucks, live music and fireworks at 10 p.m.

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