‘A little disappointing;’ City of Dayton’s July 4 festival canceled due to staffing, safety

DAYTON — The Fourth of July Festival in Downtown Dayton is canceled this year.

Downtown is typically filled with vendors and people celebrating during the Fourth of July, but that won’t happen this summer.

“The city has somewhere between 1,700 to 1,800 employees,” said Stephen Marcellus, city recreation department deputy director. “We struggle as a department just putting on events and programs.”

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The festival, which brings thousands of people downtown, is being canceled because the city says there is not enough staffing to feel safe running the event.

“With the number of vacancies the city has we’re just taking precautionary measures to make sure everybody’s going to be fine,” Marcellus said.

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Lock 27 Brewing Company is right in the heart of where the festival would have been.

“It was a little disappointing to hear that news today,” said Colin Barnhart, Lock 27 sales and products manager.

Barnhart says he does understand the city’s reasoning.

“Everybody has to do what’s best for them,” Barnhart said.

He isn’t overly concerned with losing business.

“There’s still so much going on especially that time of year down here,” Barnhart said.

Even though there won’t be as many people with the cancellation of the festival, there will still be a crowd since there is enough staffing to host the fireworks display.

The fireworks will be shot off July 3 about 10 p.m. If you want a good view, go to Kettering Field.