DELPHOS — It just didn’t seem like the Fourth of July celebrations of earlier years. For one thing, the holiday fell on a Saturday, making it seem like any other weekend, and it was hotter than a firecracker during the day.
The July Fourth holiday is supposed to be all about celebrating our freedoms but with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those freedoms have been curtailed.
“I guess if there’s a virus, there’s a virus,” said Dennis Klausing, of Delphos. “I am fortunate that I’ve known one person who’s had it and lived to tell about it. We have to wear a mask, but it is what it is. To keep somebody else safe, I’ll wear it.”
Having to abide by all of the rules that go along with keeping others safe is something people begrudgingly do.
“It’s different, and I’m really not enjoying it,” said Michael Mesker, of Delphos. “I travel a whole bunch for work so wearing the mask isn’t my favorite thing to do but, you know, it’s not about you. It’s about everyone around you and you gotta do what they ask and hopefully we can get over the hump.”
The Kiwanis Club of Delphos had planned two days of activities for the Independence Day weekend. They had a full slate of activities scheduled for Friday but the Health Department stepped in and had organizers cancel performances by Probable Cause and SaMax. They also canceled the beer tent.
“Yes, but we’re dealing with it,” said Tom Morris, president of the Kiwanis Club of Delphos. “So we’re moving on and we’re having the events that we can have.”
On Saturday, events started early with the Optimist Fishing Derby for the kids along the banks of the Miami-Erie Canal. The Delphos VFW Post 3035 organized that event. The boy or girl who reeled in the biggest fish would receive a new bike.
At 9 a.m., there was a baseball tournament for the youngsters at Stadium Park.
People could also check out a craft show near the shelter house and buy chicken dinners from the Kiwanis Club.
At noon, people could enjoy gift basket bingo in Stadium Park.
Later in the afternoon and evening, people could check out music from 7 Mile Bluegrass, Midwest Dueling Pianos and Deuces Wild.
Of course, the highlight of any July Fourth festival would be the fireworks.
Delphos was one of several communities in the area to hold fireworks.
“People were really itching for something like this. Delphos has always supported us very well for this event,” Morris said.
In Van Wert, the day’s activities included American Ride: A Toby Keith Tribute, performing in Fountain Park and fireworks after dark at the school.
In Wapakoneta, the annual St. Joseph Festival was significantly cut back with most activities relegated to the Knights of Columbus property but still included the ever-popular fireworks display at 10 p.m. from the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
Lima’s Star Spangled Spectacular was canceled. The only fireworks heard in town were the illegal ones shot off in neighborhoods.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.