ZANESVILLE – Fireworks get the top billing on Thursday for Stars & Stripes on the River.
But, the entertainment options were plenty for the Fourth of July celebration at Zane’s Landing Park.
Melissa Marie School of Dance, a regular at the event, presented several numbers to open the festivities.
The group was followed by other acts, including Troy Willis, Gary Wisor, Yours for the Taking and Black Hand Hooch.
Michelle Hoskinson, an assistant instructor, said the dance school always looks forward to performing and providing fun and music for everyone in attendance.
“Our girls like to entertain, and it’s a way to show our support for the military and veterans on the 4th,” Hoskinson said. “It’s good that we can show off the different styles we have to offer. We have a good following and a lot of support, and it’s also nice to see others out here supporting us.
“We know a lot of people would like this chance, and we really appreciate having this opportunity to perform at an event like this.”
The Zanesville Jaycees also brought in new attractions for the youth. M&M Party Central offered numerous inflated options for kids, including paddle boats, an obstacle course and the Wrecking Ball bounce house.
Mick Clark, the owner from Ironton, has been working events for 19 years and was glad to offer something different to the annual event.
“These (attractions) are safer than carnival rides and more interactive,” Clark said. “The kids seem to enjoy the ‘Wow’ factor.”
Brandon Forester brought his son, Wyatt, from Crooksville. He said the family saw it on Facebook and thought his son would enjoy the activities.
“This is the first time we’ve been here. It’s good to have something like this, and my son is having fun,” Forester said. “I also came up for the food. There’s a lot of things here to try.”
Wyatt made his way through the obstacle course successfully, ending his journey on the slide.
“I like to bounce around, and coming down the slide was fun,” he said.
Many families visited the attractions like Mercedes Tonnous and her two-year-old daughter, Thea.
“I come down every year, and my daughter is old enough to enjoy the activities,” Tonnous said. “The inflatables are safer. She can get on them easier and have a lot of fun.”
Tonnous also noted events like this in Zanesville are important for families and locals, especially on a holiday.
“We usually have to drive to bigger cities to go to events like this,” she said. “It’s good that the Jaycees put this on and the food truck rally. It gives people in the community and the area a place to come to and enjoy the day.”
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