A young girl waves to spectators as she participates in the 4th of July parade in Hamilton Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard
Photo: Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard
Photo: Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard

How will you spend the Fourth of July?

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, we asked community leaders across the region what the Fourth of July means to them and how they will spend the day.

Here are a few of the responses:

“July Fourth is a day to recognize the importance of our country’s freedoms that so many men and women have dedicated their lives to protect. It is also a day to celebrate how blessed we are to live in the United States, a free Country. I will be spending most the day at July Fourth events in Hamilton including the July Fourth Parade, Patriotic Ceremony, RiversEdge concert, and Hamilton’s Fireworks.” – Mayor Pat Moeller, City of Hamilton

Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller
Photo: File Photo


“Every year that I get older, I am reminded of how important family and friends are in my life, so I take every holiday to spend quality time with the ones I love. We eat, drink, laugh and play games and just love on one another. Whether it’s the 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, etc., it’s all about quality time with friends and family.” – Jackie Phillips, Commissioner, City of Middletown – Health Department

Jackie Phillips, Health Commissioner for the City of Middletown, speaks during a discussion with local officials, church leaders and health care personnel from around Butler County lead by State Medicaid Director John McCarthy, who oversees the Ohio Department of Medicaid, Thursday, Feb. 11 at Butler County Educational Service Center in Hamilton. A group from Ohio Medicaid agency will visit nine urban centers around the state in an attempt to tackle the high infant mortality rate problem. Butler County was the first stop. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Nick Graham


“The 4th of July is a time of celebration and reflection. As a new American, it’s an excellent opportunity for me to learn more about the history of this great nation and to celebrate with the community here in Hamilton. The family and I always enjoy going up to High Street to take in the 4th of July Parade and the festivities around the Courthouse. This year’s parade is a celebration of Hamilton’s 17 Strong Neighborhoods, so I am looking forward to cheering on neighbors and friends along the parade route!” – Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, Executive Director, Fitton Center for Creative Arts

Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, said the center will be kicking off its annual Building.Community. fundraising campaign starting in December and running through April 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer


“Fourth of July for my family is a reminder of our freedom and independence in the United States, something that many do not have still in other countries and even here. It is a day for celebrating that which we hold so dear! Main Street Lebanon will be presenting our annual Independence Day Parade on Tuesday, July 3, from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in downtown Lebanon. Also, on July 3rd, the City of Lebanon is having an Independence Day Celebration at Colonial Park West from 6 p.m. -10 p.m. The celebration includes live entertainment, kid’s activities, food, and, of course, it ends with the fireworks launching at 10 p.m. We invite folks to join in the fun!” – Donna Cox, Executive Director, Main Street Lebanon

Donna Cox, executive director Main Street Lebanon
Photo: Contributing Writer


“I love the 4th of July, it feels like the essence of summer and a day of true relaxation and fun. We are committed to spending the whole day with our family and not working! This year we will go to Brown’s Run for their 4th of July pool festivities, a BBQ at my Mom and Dad’s in West Middletown in the evening, and have our own firework fun in their driveway at night. Nothing beats kid’s faces shining and wide eyed behind sparklers!” – Ami Vitori Kimener, entrepreneur, community leader and member of Middletown City Council. 

Ami Vitori is featured in a one-page article in the latest edition of “People” magazine. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer


“The 4th of July represents freedom to me. I will be spending my day at Pyramid Hill celebrating what makes America beautiful: Art and Nature!” – Jeni Barton, Director of Arts Administration, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum

Jeni Barton knows Pyramid Hill can be a colorful place to work. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer


"For me, the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our freedom and thank those who have served and are currently serving in our country’s military. I will be spending the Fourth of July at Kings Island with my family. It has become a tradition for us to cap off the Fourth by watching the park’s fireworks show." - Don Helbig, Area Manager, Digital Marketing, Kings Island

Don Helbig enjoys the ride at Kings Island. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer