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The Suburbanite
  • Community Celebration delivers family fun

  • The four-day Jackson Community Celebration survived threatening weather that wasn't enough to stop people from enjoying the rides, live entertainment and food.

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  • In between rain drops, loud cracks of thunder and, at times, frightening lightning bolts Jackson Township's Community Celebration persevered. The four-day event survived the threatening weather which didn't stop people from enjoying the rides, live entertainment and the food.
    Many community organizations and Jackson Local school groups got in on the fun, too. The football team, swimming team and girls lacrosse team all had booths. The cheerleaders raised money for both the varsity and junior varsity squads with their "Dunk the Cheerleader" booth.
    “We do this to raise money for all of the cheerleaders,” Brooke Shott said. “Last year, we raised $1,200 during the Community Celebration.”
    The Jackson Police Explorers were on hand to help the Jackson Police Department with safety and security. They also had a table set up to promote and recruit for the post.
    “We have 18 explorers, now but we can take up to 35,” said  Jackson Township Police officer John Angelo. “It's great for those between the ages of 15- and 21-years-old that want to explore the career of law enforcement.”
    Bates Amusement provided the fair rides again this year. From giant white kangaroos to a massive swinging boat with an Egyptian theme, little children and big ones alike had plenty to keep them busy. Many families were there with multiple generations and have been attending for years, while for some families it was the first time.
    “My husband and I have been bringing our granddaughter here for years,” said Carole Thomas of North Canton. “We come to enjoy everything, the rides, the food, the entertainment and we enjoy the atmosphere. It's a wonderful festival.”
    Amanda Kraft brought her 3-year-old daughter, Ava, and they were joined by Jessi Smith, all of them coming from Massillon. It was the first time they had attended the Community Celebration.  
    “Ava is loving all the rides and we are enjoying the food,” Kraft said.
    Massillon Cable Television had a tent full of activities with balloon animals, face painting, hair painting and clowns. The company also provided inflatable fun such as big slides and bouncy houses.
    One of the new food vendors this year was Eatza Pizza Cones. Wanda Bowman, Dennis Domer and Rita Blake, all Jackson High School graduates, had the new booth this year and were making pizza cones.
    “The pizza molder machine forms a cone out of pizza dough and then people can load the cone with toppings,” Bowman said.
    Bowman and Blake are sisters and said their father, Harold Coleman, helped start the original community celebration when it was a fireman's festival.
    “Our dad passed away four years ago,  Bowman said. “Our mother, Edith Coleman, is 93. They helped start this festival and a couple of others in the area.”
    Page 2 of 2 - In addition to rides and food, there was live entertainment every night with LaFlavor on Wednesday, Jimmy and the Soul Blazers on Thursday, The Bluesrockers on Friday and Kerosene on Saturday.
    “Attendance was what we expected this year,” said David Ruwadi, park maintenance and programming supervisor. “We closed early on the first night because of a threat of a severe thunderstorm and the fireworks were cancelled but we had a great event in between all of the weather.”

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