- Rick McCrabb Staff Writer
While the crowds were “great” Friday, officials of Monroe’s Bicentennial celebration expect even a larger crowd today because there are no high school football games, and the big-name entertainment and fireworks show.
Christina McElfresh, president of the Monroe Historical Society and a committee member, said the city is throwing “a heck of a party” in honor of its 200th birthday.
She called Friday “a wonderful trial run” for tonight’s expected larger attendance.
The event is free except for rides, food and drink, McElfresh said.
The bicentennial celebration will take continue until 10 p.m. today at Monroe Community Park with a headlining concert by Jo Dee Messina and a fireworks finale.
Sponsored by Deceuninck, the festivities today will feature live musical entertainment from national acts Messina, Little Texas and Darryl Worley beginning at 5 p.m. Entertainers from The Cincinnati Circus Company will also perform today.
Messina is expected to perform around 8 p.m. A fireworks finale by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks will begin at 9:40 p.m.
Officials emphasized that Messina will still perform at the event. Many of her fans know she was recently diagnosed with cancer. Her last tour date for the year will be Oct. 7, as she will begin cancer treatment this fall.
The event will also feature carnival rides, a zipline, an archery range, mobile fishing, inflatables, a midway, food trucks, concessions, stilt-walkers, face painting, balloon artists, craft booths and more. The Lions Club will host a beer garden both days.
South Main Street/Cincinnati-Dayton Road will be closed from 4 to 10 p.m. in front of the park during the celebration between Lebanon Street and Carson Road, except for buses. Free shuttles will be available from three different locations – 220 Yankee Road (Monroe High School), 231 Senate Drive and 6000 Ohio 63 (Miami Valley Gaming, back lots off Union Road)
There is an area for park and walk at 225 Macready (at the old high school.) No public parking will be available at the City Building or Monroe Community Park.