Permit denial shifts Hamilton’s 4th of July post-parade plans

Manpower needed to close High Street for a few hours on a holiday was not logistically feasible.

Hamilton’s Fourth of July Committee had to pivot in the last week after one of its permit requests was denied by the police department.

The plan was to keep High Street closed after the annual July 4th parade until 2 p.m., which would have been new for the post-parade festivities. However, that plan was nixed, said Troy Schwable, co-chair of the Fourth of July Committee.

In the days after that permit denial, Schwable said the committee was able to institute its Plan B, which would close parts of Second and Court streets for the parade afterparty that features a pair of musical acts and an old-fashioned ice cream social.

This year’s theme for the July 4th celebration is “Ice Cream, Baseball, Apple Pie & the 4th of July, Hamilton, Ohio,” creating an old-fashioned festival “where everybody is simply having fun,” Schwable said. “That’s the point of the Fourth of July. We’re there to celebrate, to have a good time.”

But the manpower needed to close High Street for a few hours on a holiday was not logistically feasible, said Hamilton police Sgt. Brian Ungerbuehler on why that permit request was denied.

Everything that’s been done in the past will still happen, including closing High Street for the parade, which steps off at 10 a.m. at the Butler County Fairgrounds and makes its way to High Street. The parade will cross the High-Main bridge and end at F Street on the city’s west side for the second time in as many years.

After the parade, festivities will shift to Second and Court streets as a stage will be set up for the Hamilton Concert Band and the Queen City Sisters. The plan was to have the performances at the Butler County Historic Courthouse’s gazebo.

Closing down High Street is not unusual as the city has allowed it for Operation Pumpkin, but that is a multi-day festival and not on a holiday.

There will still have traffic on High Street, Ungerbuehler said, though one eastbound lane and the parking spaces will be shut down after the parade.

Though the parade and downtown activities end at 2 p.m., the celebration will go on. Many downtown and Main Street businesses and restaurants will have holiday hours, and the party then shifts to RiversEdge at 6 p.m. with That Arena Rock Show playing until the fireworks show at 10 p.m.

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