Senate District 18
John Eklund
Fourth of July: Celebrating our Nation's Independence
A Guest Column by State Senator John Eklund
July 1, 2015

Across the nation, Americans eagerly anticipate the arrival of 4th of July, and often celebrate with parades, barbecues, and fireworks.  Communities gather together to observe the fight for independence by our nation’s Founding Fathers many years ago.  Through their efforts, and the continuing work of our military, we are able to celebrate our independence with our loved ones.

In June 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, where five individuals were tasked with drafting a document to dissolve relations with Great Britain.  Thomas Jefferson, an eloquent writer, prepared the Declaration of Independence with the help of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.  It was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.  

Celebration of this historic event began occurring shortly after, as the first public readings of the Declaration were held days later, on July 8, 1776 at Philadelphia’s Independence Square.  In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state to honor July 4th as an official state holiday, and observation of Independence Day became more prevalent following further conflicts with Great Britain during the War of 1812.  It was not until 1870 when Independence Day was recognized as a national holiday.

While we are familiar with brilliant celebrations in our nation’s capital, there are many wonderful local opportunities to observe the holiday.  Bainbridge will host an Independence Day Celebration on July 5th at 6 p.m., featuring live music, food, and face painting.  Chardon will celebrate with fireworks on July 3rd at dusk, and will host Old Glory Day on July 4th from 1-4 p.m.  In Lake County, a hike beginning at 8:30 p.m. to Chapin’s Scenic Overlook on July 4th will yield unique views of local fireworks.  In Portage County, the City of Aurora will host a 1-mile and 5K Fun Run at Bicentennial Park at 8 a.m., with a parade to follow at 11 a.m., as well as fireworks at dusk.  Additionally, the Heritage Festival, hosted in Kent on July 4th, boasts concessions, games, free entertainment, and evening fireworks.  More information regarding Northeast Ohio festivities can be found at:

I encourage you to take part in local celebrations while enjoying time spent with family and friends. Always remember those who have served our nation dutifully so we may observe our national independence.

As always, please feel free to contact my office with further questions or if I can ever be of any assistance to you regarding state government issues. You can write me at Senator John Eklund, Statehouse – Room 128, Columbus, Ohio 43215, email me at, or call my office at (614) 644-7718.

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