RIO GRANDE — The sixth annual Rockets over Rio is slated for this Saturday, and Rio Grande Village officials are planning their largest fireworks event yet.
Rockets over Rio is held annually on the Saturday of the Bob Evans Farm Festival and, according to Rio Grande Village Mayor Matt Easter, the event is held, in part, for those who travel to Rio Grande to enjoy the Bob Evans Festival.
“I’m a firm believer that small towns need fireworks,” said Easter. “This is our way of welcoming all the guests that are staying at the [Bob Evans] Farm, as well as thrilling those who reside here all year round.”
In addition, Easter reported that the fireworks show is funded wholly through donations and sponsorships. Municipal money is not utilized to organize the event. In fact, this is the third year running that the event is being entirely covered without the use of taxpayer money.
“Some people give $500 and some people give $20, but it all culminates into a great show that we can all be proud of.”
The event is free and is headquartered at the Bob Evans Farms Hall parking lot on the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College campus. The fireworks, coordinated by Legendary Entertainment of Commercial Point, Ohio, will be set off in a clearing located between the Evan Davis Soccer Field and the university’s practice soccer field below the Lyne Center.
The fireworks are scheduled to kick off at 9:30 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to attend a match between the Rio Grande men’s soccer team and the University if Pikeville beginning at 7 p.m. on the Evan Davis Soccer Field.
According to Easter, this year’s fireworks will be comparable to, if not better, than last year’s show, and the overall event this year has been expanded. More concessions and food will be offered, inflatables for children will be available and attendees can tailgate at the non-alcoholic event.
“Every year tops the last, and that is my goal,” said Easter. “This is my baby. I’ve rocked it since the get-go. I’m so proud of it for the simple fact that everyone works together that night … and besides, who doesn’t like fireworks?”
For more information, visit Rockets over Rio on Facebook.