Fanfare for Freedom

SANDUSKY Cracks, snaps and bangs were followed by ooohs and ahhhs Wednesday night from crowds gather
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Cracks, snaps and bangs were followed by ooohs and ahhhs Wednesday night from crowds gathered at Battery Park, Shoreline Park and Jackson Street Pier.

Just before the fireworks began Sandusky Fire Department responded to a report of weeds on fire on the city hall property. The department extinguished some cattails burning on the bank by the water before the fireworks began.

Earlier in the day, the fanfare of the Fourth of July was an opportunities for fund-raising and fun times downtown Sandusky Wednesday afternoon.

A portion of Washington Street and Columbus Avenue were blocked off to host the annual downtown Fourth of July celebration complete with music at the Washington Park gazebo, candidates vying for residents votes and of course, festival food.

The Friends of the Greenhouse hosted a plant sale during the festivities -- the first of the group's organized fund-raising efforts to see the city's greenhouse grow and rebloom annually for years to come.

Jim Arthur of the Sandusky City Tree Commission was assisted during the sale.

The group sold plants donated by sponsors including Barnes Nursery & Garden Care Center, Corso's Flower & Garden Center, the Cleveland Road Greenhouses and Bailey's Tree and Landscape Inc.

Arthur said the sale went well and the friends group added 45 new members.

For Emily Culter, 11, and Julia Frausto,13, both Jr. Miss fair princesses, the festivities were an opportunity to meet and greet passersby.

"All the little kids when we walk by would point and say, 'Awww, look there's a princess,'" Frausto said.

While Thomas Smith's wife worked at a booth raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis research, he took Savannah, 5, in her special Fourth of July flip-flops and Grady, their 14-month old Irish Wolf Hound, for a walk through the area.

"What kind of pony is that?" a woman walking by teased Smith.

Smith said he can could only get about 15 steps before being stopped by a dog lover wanting to know about the hairy, exceptionally large dog he was walking.

The afternoon was a chance for socialization for Grady, who is training to be a therapy dog. He even put on a little show for his fans. Grady can stand on his hind legs and place his front paws on Smith's shoulders, his head towering over his owners.

Savannah Smith didn't seem to mind all the attention, proudly displaying her fresh coat of patriotic face paint when asked.

Later in the evening crowds gathered at Battery and Shoreline Parks and Jackson Street Pier to claim their vantage point for fireworks.