Hundreds of people gather at Stadium Park Wednesday evening for the Kiwanis Fourth of July fireworks display. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Hundreds of people gather at Stadium Park Wednesday evening for the Kiwanis Fourth of July fireworks display. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
DELPHOS — Oppressive heat may have kept some from coming to the park and others from returning but the 2018 Kiwanis Independence Celebration will still more than likely rank in the top 5, according to club treasurer Cindy Metzger.

“People stayed through the rain for the duck races and we had a great crowd for Your Generation,” Metzger said. “It was hot and we were prepared for that as well. We had lots of water on standby and we checked on everyone frequently. The misting station along the west side of tennis courts was a popular hangout.”

With temperatures in the 90s and a heat indices in triple digits Tuesday and Wednesday, the 13th celebration under the helm of the Kiwanis offered two nights of free entertainment, free rides for the kids Wednesday afternoon and the usuals like the Beyond Expectations softball game, the Duck Races, the Optimist Fishing Derby, corn hole tournament, the Firecracker Bike Ride, Big Basket Bingo and more.

While it wasn’t official, last year’s volleyball champions, the Mighty Crabs of Kalida, and other teams still gathered at the park and held their own tournament. The Mighty Crabs retained their Fourth of July title.

“That is just a testament to how much they like to play volleyball. I walked over there several times and that sand was hot,” Metzger said. “The most amazing thing was at the end, the Mighty Crabs donated a $100 to the Kiwanis for the pool house project. How great is that?”

Dozens of volunteers make the event run smoothly.

“There just aren’t Kiwanis out at the park,” Metzger said. “There are all kinds of people who just volunteer and give up their holiday and time with their families to help us. We couldn’t do it without them.”

With another festival under their belt, Metzger said it won’t be long before plans start for next year.

“I”m already thinking about it,” she said. “How we can do it better.”