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The Suburbanite
  • Mayor says moving Fourth celebration accommodates family events, reduces OT

  • Independent readers respond to the scheduling of Massillon’s Fourth of July celebration the day prior to the holiday. Some “like” and “dislike” the notion.

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  • The scheduling of the city’s Fourth of July bash has some residents asking a question over social media — why is it Wednesday this year instead of July 4?
    Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry was swift to point out that families often have holiday “get-togethers” already planned, and having the “City of Champions Independence Day Celebration” on Wednesday avoids some conflict. And, having the celebration the day before the holiday saves on overtime pay.
    “There’s lots of competition on July 4,” the mayor said. “With overtime and family in mind, it made sense to go with July 3.”
    Some residents aren’t buying the explanation.
    Brandy Kolek of Massillon, was one a dozen and a half people as of 7 p.m. Monday to respond to a question on The Independent’s Facebook page asking folks if they planned on attending the event, and if the day it was held mattered to them. Kolek noted she has to work Wednesday.
    “Most of us work all day on the 3rd, so the event is pretty pointless,” she wrote.
    Massillon resident Tami Huff responded that there are “pros” and “cons” to the scheduling.
    “Having it on the 3rd is better than not having it at all (like last year) AND having it on the 3rd allows people to attend 4th of July celebrations other places,” she wrote on Facebook. “The con is basically for many people who want to celebrate the 4th in their own hometown. ... But let’s not judge all of Massillon based on this event. We still love Massillon, even if we don’t like a lot of decisions our leaders and planners make!”
    The city will have to dole out some overtime pay for police and fire personnel for Wednesday’s celebration, Catazaro-Perry said. However, that amount will be paid as “time and a half” rather than “double time,” which would be the case on the Fourth of July holiday.
    City Budget Director Ken Koher estimated the savings at about $1,100 for the event being held Wednesday rather than Thursday, and noted the city would be reimbursed salary and overtime money via the 2013 Summer Concert Series fund.
    The celebration is slated from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The event features separate 45-minute musical performances by The Texas Toast Band, a country and rock band from Massillon; Karri & Kerosene, a country, rock and blues band; and ReUNITED, which plays a combination of classic rock, Motown and R&B from the 1960s and ’70s.
    “People can get together after work Wednesday and share an evening, and still be able spend the Fourth with family,” Catazaro-Perry said.
    In case of inclement weather on Wednesday, music concerts will be canceled, but the celebration’s fireworks will be rescheduled for 10 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium, the mayor said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Independence Day Celebration schedule:
    6 p.m.: The Massillon American Legion Color Guard will present the colors, and the Washingtonians will sing the national anthem.
    6:15 p.m.: Judging for the Li’l Miss Liberty and Li’l Mr. Liberty Pageant.
    7 p.m.: The Texas Toast Band
    8 p.m.: Karri & Kerosene
    8:45 p.m.: Proclamation honoring The Independent’s 150-year birthday
    9 p.m.: ReUNITED
    10 p.m.: Fireworks
    Reach Steven at 330-775-1134 or
    steven.grazier@indeonline.com
    On Twitter: @sgrazierINDE