This year’s four-day Rib, White & Blue Festival in downtown Akron will include two fireworks displays — one on Thursday, July 4, and a smaller one on Saturday.
On Friday, the city-organized festival will feature Family Fun Day at Lock 3 park, off South Main Street downtown.
The rib festival runs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and will again be on South Main between University and Bowery Streets; this part of Main will be closed to traffic.
This year, 11 vendors from five states will offer ribs. They will compete for cash prizes and bragging rights in the “Best Of” competition.
The masters of the barbecue are coming from Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Admission is free (you pay for the food).
The July 4 fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m. This will be after the 8 p.m. performance by the 122nd Army National Guard Band at Lock 3.
The display will again be set off from atop a building on West Bowery Street, near Lock 3 park off South Main Street. This means people at Lock 3, as well as other spots downtown, will have a good view.
Friday's Family Fun Day activities will include inflatables, science demos presented by COSI and more. Activities will run at Lock 3 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Tribute bands will perform at Lock 3 on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. with the headliner taking the stage at 8:30 p.m.
Bruce in the USA will headline Wednesday; The Prince Experience will perform Friday. On Saturday, Turn It Up – The Lynyrd Experience will play.
The city is calling the fireworks show at 10 p.m. Saturday a "bonus."
From noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Lock 3 will be the site of the Music & Moto bike show, presented by Rubber City Harley-Davidson. Included will be vendors and live music.
Parking is free after 6 p.m. Fridays and on weekends at city-owned parking decks and lots. Parking also will be free Thursday for the holiday. Handicapped parking is available at the State Street deck, which has an elevator to the Lock 3 level, or at Cascade Plaza. During Main Street construction, the city of Akron is offering free two-hour parking in several areas downtown. For more information, go to www.downtownakron.com/getting-around/parking.
For more information on the festival, go to www.lock3live.com and www.downtownakron.com.