Embracing diversity, resolving differences with the healing spirit of love to the good of the whole is the greatest challenge of the community life. The Americana Festival aims at just that by encouraging neighborly goodwill, nurturing community spirit and off-course merry-making. This annual festival is in its 44th year and is celebrated by the people of America with great zest.
The Americana festival started in the year 1972 as a sidewalk sale promoted by Centerville downtown merchants, and since then it is celebrated every year on the 4th of July. The festival saw an expansion in 1979 when board members decided to include the street show, parade, auto show, skydivers, hot air balloons, and fireworks. The main purpose was to promote the social welfare of the Centerville, Washington Township. The festival was later taken over by the Kiwanis Club.
Now, the festival includes a 90 minute parade which is almost a mile long, a street fair with various arts and crafts booths, a free of cost area for children at Benham’s Grove, classic and antique car and truck show, a 5km family run with more than 1200 runners, a scholarship program, entertainment and fireworks. The participation every year is more than 75000 people with over 100 volunteers.
Events and Activities
To mark the beginning of the festival the flag ceremony is held on 3rd of July at 7p.m. at Stubbs Park on West Spring Valley road followed by the Americana concert where you can enjoy patriotic music by Centerville community band.
5k Run – The Americana 5k run/walk starts early at around 7 am and people of all ages and physical abilities can participate. The run follows the parade route.
Parade– Parade is the regular highlight of the festival. It begins at 10a.m. at the East Franklin Street and proceeds to Cline Elementary on Virginia Avenue. The parade features numerous bands, mobile and walking units. Overall the parade showcases more than 120 units.
Auto Show– It is a car lover’s paradise which showcases unique, antique, classic and even customized cars and trucks. The show includes both old and new cars ranging from pre-50’s era to new modernized versions. The auto show is definitely a visual treat.
Children Activities– The activities for children up to middle school have been carefully planned and organized. The activities include games, inflatable attractions like climbing wall from busy bouncing, tennis courts, live entertainment, etc. The organizers have made provisions for shelter and washrooms in and around kids’ activity areas.
Street Fair– An open invitation for all, the Americana Festival street fair continues to grow each year. The fair features 300 crafts, artists, children games, and musical entertainment, children’s game, and activity area. The food booths offer mouth watering delicacies so whether you are looking for some lip smacking Chinese food, hot dogs, BBQ Ribs, Pork Chops, Turkey or candies, chocolates and ice cream they have it all. The timings are from 9:30am to 5p.m.
Entertainment– From 11a.m. the festival has some great entertainment lined up for people to enjoy. Don’t miss to look out for strolling jugglers, musicians, clowns, German wheel and stilt walkers. Bands would keep you entertained with some good jazz, rock, country and pop music.
Benham’s Grove– It is the venue for fine arts show. The festival goers can explore all the booths and can make purchases.
Fireworks– The finale of the festival is marked with some beautiful fireworks. These fireworks lit up the sky at around 10p.m. and are synchronized with music making it as a wonderful experience.
Apart from the above the festival recognizes and rewards students for their excellence under their scholarship program. The Patriot Award is given to encourage residents to display community patriotism by decorating their outside spaces. The Americana Festival is the largest one-day celebration in the state, and its success would not have been possible without the generosity and kindness of sponsors and supporters.