Oregon Day, held at the city’s municipal complex in August for the last three years, will be replaced with a Fourth of July extravaganza this year.
Boomfest at the Grove, hosted by the city and BP Husky, will be held at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Street on July 4 from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Besides fireworks, the event will feature live entertainment, a car show, and food and drink.
Mayor Mike Seferian said he decided to replace Oregon Day, which was started to celebrate the city’s 50th anniversary, because it failed to draw much of a crowd.
“This year, people expected it again,” he said.
But food vendors had lost money because of low turnout, and the public could watch the fireworks away from the municipal complex, he said.
“The city did a lot of work to set up the grounds. One year, there were only 30-40 people. Few came to the event,” he said. “People didn’t really buy anything from the vendors. There was nothing to hold them there. People parked around Starr Extension, and other places, to see the fireworks from miles away.”
Oregon Day also didn’t serve alcohol, which is prohibited from being sold on city property, said Seferian. It will be served at Boomfest, since Oak Shade Grove has a liquor license.
“What I’ve heard over the years is that there’s nothing for people to do in Oregon. The German American Festival held at Oak Shade Grove is a big thing that a lot of people look forward to every year,” said Seferian.
So the next best think is Boomfest, which will be held at Oak Shade Grove, owned by the G.A.F. Society.
The city is covering the cost of the fireworks and entertainment, including live music, said Seferian.
The G.A.F. will sponsor the event and sell beer and wine, he said.
“Then they can bring in food vendors there,” said Seferian. Although still in the planning stages, Seferian said Yeeha’s Bar and Grill, and Luckies have expressed an interest in being among the four local food vendors at the event.
“I heard the G.A.F. themselves were going to serve their brats and and have the drink concessions,” said Seferian.
The event will also feature the Oregon Dream Cruise, a car show.
Live entertainment includes The Websters, which will be the main event, said Seferian. The Websters is a popular rock group from the Cincinnati area. Also on hand will be Johnny Reed, a rhythm and blues singer who plays the harmonica, said Seferian. “He’s been around for about 20 years, and plays some soothing music that both the young and older crowds enjoy.”
Another band, Kentucky Chrome, a country group that plays mostly Johnny Cash songs, will also be featured at the event. “With the different styles, I would think at least one of the bands will appeal to anyone there,” said Seferian.
Seferian is also secretly negotiating with a celebrity singer-songwriter, which he thinks will draw a much larger crowd than expected.
“Starting at 3, we’re going to have bands play throughout the night up until the fireworks. So we’re hoping to get over 5,000 people there,” said Seferian. “If this works out, we can try to work on this for next year. The first year is a tough one. I’m sure we’ll be able to make next year a little bit better because we’ll have more knowledge of what we’re dealing with.”