SALEM - City residents can celebrate Independence Day with two days of activities, beginning with the Salem Perry Township Crime Watch National Night Out and the city fireworks on Tuesday and the annual pet parade and decorated vehicles parade on Wednesday.
The festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Waterworth Memorial Park when Salem Perry Township Crime Watch hosts National Night Out, the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year.
New to the event this year will be a cruise in for anyone with classic cars, trucks or motorcycles, with entry off of Eighth Street at the duck pond entrance. The cruise will feature a special guest in the form of a Deputy Barney Fife lookalike and his 1963 Ford police car from Mayberry.
Everything featured at last year's event will return, with a cornhole tournament for a $5 entry fee and a money first prize, a petting zoo, a bounce house, pony rides, face painting and a dunk tank.
They'll also have live entertainment with Stormin' Normn Night Moves and food for purchase at the concession stand.
Salem Perry Township Crime Watch helps provide some extra eyes and ears for the police departments, including during large events like last week's Salem Super Cruise and the upcoming International Festival on Aug. 10 and 11.
When the park goes dark Tuesday night, the city fireworks will light up the sky, courtesy of many generous donations gathered from businesses and individuals.
Mayor John Berlin sent out a letter to previous donors and some businesses asking for donations, along with hitting up council members for personal donations as a group.
On Wednesday, the annual Fourth of July pet parade and decorated vehicles parade will take place, both organized by former city councilwoman Mary Lou Popa.
The pet parade will move out from the Pershing Street end of Broadway Avenue and travel to the State Street end. Judges will present prizes for the biggest, smallest, most unusual, cutest, furriest and best costumed pets.
The decorated vehicle parade will feature anything on wheels, including bikes, wagons, tricycles and strollers, decked out in red, white and blue for the holiday. The parade will follow the same route as the pet parade, forming after the pet parade concludes at approximately 2 p.m.
Age groups for the vehicles will include birth to 3 years old, 4 to 6 years old and 7 years and up, with first, second and third place awarded in each age category.
Each child will receive a goody bag, with any donations or questions to be directed to Popa at 330-332-4242.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org