Make no mistake, no matter how chock-full the Cera Sports Park and Campground fills with concerts, food, cornhole, volleyball or anything else on a July 4 weekend, the show high in the sky still tops everything.
Which is why assistant executive director Corey Behymer expects 7,000 to 10,000 onlookers for Monday’s 10 p.m. fireworks show alone. For Friday through Monday’s attendance total, including campers, she figures the park could see some 12,000 visitors, if the weather shines on the property at 3989 S. County Road 525E southeast of Columbus.
Behymer and staff, never content to just coast on traditional success, have added a few elements to the schedule. Last year, a hot dog eating contest was added on the Fourth. This year, that is being moved to a more visually prominent area in the courtyard in front of the pool.
“Hopefully, we’ll get a few more people involved that way,” she said.
The prize package for the weiner winner? A two-night, three-day camp and play package at the park. People can easily register for any of the contests ahead of time at ceraland.org/july.
A basketball free throw contest, divided by age groups, is new this year, giving organizers a shot at attracting a few more people to add to the holiday hoopla. There’s also a sand volleyball tourney, a golf cart parade, a cornhole tourney, and a biggest splash contest.
Behymer added that attendance demographics range from young families with children to recent empty-nestsers to retired couples unwinding. She mentioned that, after fireworks, biggest draws tend to be swimming or pool activities and concerts.
The fireworks shows usually unfold even in rain. About the only time it gets canceled is when local fire officials intervene because of severely dry conditions, she said.