‘Best of the Best’ area fireworks for the 4th of July and beyond

LIMA — Warm nights, blankets spread on grass, and crowds oohing and aahing: whether you’re looking for a spot to see the sparkle on July 4th, or you just enjoy hearing the boom on any summer night, below is a list of some of the best spots to catch a fireworks show during the summer in west central Ohio.

Allen County

• Lima – 10 p.m. Monday, July 4, Faurot Park

The Star Spangled Spectacular will include a concert performance beginning at 8 p.m. in Faurot Park. With 2,000 fireworks launched during a 22-minute show, Lima’s fireworks display certainly ranks as one of the region’s best. Annually, the fireworks show draws thousands of spectators.

• Delphos – 10 p.m. Monday, July 4, Stadium Park

The Kiwanis July 4th Celebration is a two-day event featuring local country and rock musicians. It culminates with a large fireworks show.

Auglaize County

• Wapakoneta – 10 p.m. Monday, July 4, Auglaize County Fairgrounds

The 72nd Annual St. Joseph Festival is a two-day event featuring live music, pony rides, carnival food, a 5K race and more. Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. on the second day.

• St. Marys – 10 p.m. Saturday, August 13, Grand Lake St. Marys Park

St. Marys Summerfest is a six-day celebration which will be filled with plenty of activities to enjoy, like live music, sports tournaments, kids games, rides, a parade and concessions. The fireworks are best viewed from the Grand Lake St. Marys State Park. For a schedule and events map, visit stmaryssummerfest.com/schedule.html.

Mercer County

• Celina – 10 p.m. Thursday, July 23, on the lake by Lakeshore Park, Main Street, Lake Shore Drive and South Ash Street

The Celina Lake Festival is three-day event that is sure to please with live music, rides, kids’ fishing derby, amphibious vehicles and much more. Over scenic Lake St. Marys, the firework show in Celina, launched from a barge on the lake, is among the most beautiful for photographs. Whether viewing from a boat or from shore, the west bank provides the best view of the fireworks.

Van Wert County

• City of Van Wert – 10 p.m. Saturday, July 4, Van Wert High School parking lot

The Optimist Fishing Derby begins at 8 a.m., followed by Little League and Minor League baseball games that start at 9 a.m. The Kiwanis Firecracker Bike Ride departs at 10:30 a.m. from Hanser Pavilion. By 11 a.m. the food and beverage tent opens. Darts, volleyball, cornhole and softball games and rides will be available from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Van Wert County Foundation, the City of Van Wert and other donors will present the 4th of July Fireworks Show starting at 10 p.m. Organizers remind individuals not to bring fireworks or sparklers.

Hardin County

•Kenton – following the Rogue Rodeo, Thursday, July 7, Hardin County Fairgrounds