The July 4 weekend will include many of the same events residents have come to enjoy in recent years, as well as a few extras in recognition of the city’s bicentennial.
“We’ve added a few things because of the bicentennial,” said Bob Parry, the city’s director of planning and economic development and chairman of the city’s bicentennial steering committee.
Westlake’s patriotic bash begins Thursday evening with the fourth annual Patriotic Band Spectacular, featuring current and alumni members of the Westlake High School Band as well as experienced community musicians. Vocalist Lorene Coughlin of the Patriot Concert Band will perform.
Tickets for the concert, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Westlake Schools Performing Arts Center, 27200 Hilliard Blvd., cost $5.
The annual Independence Day parade will be expanded this year, according to Parry. The parade, which kicks off from Westlake High School for vehicles and Westlake Christian Church for marchers at 10 a.m. Monday, will head east down Hilliard Boulevard to Clague Park.
Two special guests from Westlake’s sister city of Tralee, Ireland, – Mayor Grace O’Donnell and development officer John Griffin – will be in the parade, Parry said. The two are in town for this weekend, repaying a visit Parry and Mayor Denis Clough made to Tralee two years ago.
The two Tralee officials will also tour the city, Parry said.
At noon at Crocker Park, Clough, City Council members and Westlake students will mark the nation’s 235th birthday with patriotic songs and historical readings.
The city’s fireworks display will be at dusk Monday at Clague Park. Starting at 4 p.m., vendors from Ironwood Café, Bailey’s Boardwalk Fries, Romeo’s Pizza, Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Island Delights Smoothies and Zog Dog Hot Dogs will be selling food. DJ Easy will start the entertainment at the Clague Park gazebo at 6 p.m.
Parking restrictions will be in effect in and around Clague Park to allow emergency vehicles access to the area. Motorists will not be permitted to park on either side of Clague Road, said Lt. Ray Arcuri of the Westlake Police Department. In addition, there will be no parking on either side of Horseshoe Boulevard. Motorists must park on Hilliard Boulevard. Auxiliary police officers will be on hand to assist. Parking in Clague Park will be limited to motorists with parking passes and handicapped permits.
Temporary no-parking zones will be in effect on the fire hydrant side on numerous side streets surrounding the park as well, Arcuri said.
Crocker Park will host its annual Liberty Fest Sunday and Monday. The highlight will be a performance by the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by a fireworks display. Plans to have the Pops concert televised nationally on a cable network were explored but never materialized, Parry said.
A classic car show takes place at 10 a.m. Monday. Entertainment continues throughout the weekend.
The city had discussed having a citywide picnic at the Westlake Recreation Center during the July 4 weekend, Parry said. However, concerns about lack of adequate parking there scratched that idea, Parry told West Life. There was also a feeling that there are a lot of activities already planned this weekend, he added.
“We really didn’t have a good place to do it,” Parry said.