Americana Festival returns for 50th anniversary as bigger event with more offerings

The Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary next week with a new parade route, more vendors, an expanded festival footprint and beer sales for the first time ever. CONTRIBUTED

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The Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary next week with a new parade route, more vendors, an expanded festival footprint and beer sales for the first time ever. CONTRIBUTED

The Centerville-Washington Twp. Americana Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary next week with a new parade route, more vendors, an expanded festival footprint and beer sales for the first time ever.

The event launches with the Americana Concert at Stubbs Park, 255 W Spring Valley Pike, on July 3 following the flag ceremony at 7 p.m. The Miami Valley Hospital South Fireworks Show, set for 10 p.m. at Centerville High School Stadium, 500 E. Franklin St., will be expanded to provide residents with an even better experience, according to festival spokesman Dave Paprocki.

“It’s about five to eight minutes longer ... (so) it’s going to be closer to half an hour, which is a pretty significant show,” Paprocki said.

Gates open for the show at 6 p.m. and ‘80s band Stranger takes the stage at 8:15 p.m. Between 40 and 50 food vendors will be on hand at the stadium entrance.

The celebration continues on Independence Day, July 4, with the Americana 5K Run/Walk, a parade and an auto show. The footprint of this year’s Americana Festival will make it bigger than ever, Paprocki said.

“As the festival grows, we want to start to incorporate more of uptown Centerville,” he said. “The best way to do that is to allow the street fair and food vendors to expand onto West Franklin. It’s the first year we’ll have a food truck and vendor area on West Franklin.”

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Paprocki said expanding the festival’s footprint allows more uptown businesses to engage in the event.

“We want those 75,000 to 80,000 people strolling around uptown and maybe have a business that catches their eye that they maybe would have driven past,” he said.

This year’s parade will take a different route than in years past. Dozens of parade entries, which include marching bands, floats, elected leaders, performers and more, will begin as usual at Centerville High School and travel west on Franklin Street. But instead of crossing the intersection with Main Street, the parade will make a left turn and travel south on Main Street in Uptown.

That revised path creates a better parade experience because it allows for a strategic pause at the Four Corners to showcase performances and allow for them to be more easily recorded and rebroadcast for guests, Paprocki said.

Longtime Centerville City Schools Superintendent Tom Henderson, who will retire Aug. 1, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

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The amount of street fair vendors at this year’s festival will be increased from 250 in previous years to more than 300 vendors. An increased amount of live entertainment will be available across multiple stages and venues.

Responding to numerous requests over the years to expand drink offerings at the event, the festival will for the first time ever allow volunteers to sell beer at two points within the festival: Benham’s Grove and West Franklin Street.

“Not only does this offer more options for festivalgoers, it is also a tremendous fundraising opportunity for the Americana Festival, the Centerville Band Boosters and the Centerville High School Dugout Club,” he said.


IF YOU GO: AMERICANA FESTIVAL

JULY 3

7 p.m.: Flag Ceremony and a patriotic community concert with music performed by the Centerville Community Band and Chorus at Stubbs Park Amphitheater.

8:15 p.m.: Dayton’ ‘80s band Stranger performs at Centerville High School stadium. (Gates open at 6 p.m.).

10 p.m.: The Miami Valley Hospital South Fireworks Show lights up the sky at 10 p.m..

JULY 4

7:30 a.m.: The Up and Running, Americana 5K Run/Walk hosted by the Centerville Noon Optimist Club. Arrive by 7a.m. The race will start at 7:30 a.m. at the Centerville High School Stadium.

10 a.m.: The Americana Festival Parade begins at 10 a.m. on East Franklin Street, west of Centerville High School, proceeds west to Uptown Centerville, and turns south onto Main Street, ending at Tuxworth Road.

11 a.m.: The Americana Street Fair featuring a wide variety of activities for all ages It features hundreds of arts and craft booths, food vendors, food trucks, artists, an auto show, musical entertainment and a children’s game and activity area. The street fair also showcases staged and strolling performers.

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