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Toronto has chance to really celebrate

July 6, 2012
The Herald-Star

The celebrations surrounding the Fourth of July don't have to end because the official holiday is over.

Tri-State Area residents will find the festivities continuing this Saturday in Toronto with the city's annual Gem City Day celebration.

Sponsored by the Focus in Toronto organization, Gem City Day takes place along with several other events that day.

The event, centered around the city gazebo commons at the corner of Third and Market streets, also will coincide with the Robert Urich Memorial Race/Walk, a Safety Day demonstration by the city's safety forces and the program and a spectacular fireworks display at Clarke Hinkle Field later that evening.

For those who would like to take part, there's a full day of activities planned. Area residents can start off with a breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Toronto Masonic Lodge, 202 S. Third St. After that an Anything on Wheels Kids and Pets Patriotic Parade will get under way at 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded, so area children are encouraged to take part by decorating bikes, wagons, scooters, or anything with wheels. They're also invited to bring a dressed up pet for judging, but please be prepared with lots of water to keep pets cool during the hot day that is expected.

A fair-like atmosphere will include food vendors, carnival games and inflatables for children. Also planned is a kid's sidewalk chalk art contest at the gazebo in town and a cornhole tournament for adults. The annual turtle race, which had been scheduled to be a part of the event, has been rescheduled for July 21 at Newburg Landing Park.

More summer fun includes a kids' watermelon eating contest and a seed-spitting contest, with prizes to be awarded for each contest.

Gem City Day is important to the Gem City and its Focus in Toronto organization. After all, proceeds from turtle race and T-shirts sold during the event help fund other activities throughout the year including the city's Christmas parade, the Festival of the Arts and a $500 community service scholarship.

As always, the continued support of Torontonians as well as Tri-State Area residents is appreciated, and events like Gem City Day allow family and friends from throughout the area to enjoy time together.

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