Canfield’s July 4th gets off to running start

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — There was no sleeping in on Friday for runners who wanted to start the holiday morning off by showing up at the Firecracker 4 Mile Run in Canfield.

Rocco Fumi gave more than 1,000 runners the “Ready! Set! Go!” to begin the race. Fumi started the race 40 years ago.

“It’s very sentimental, knowing that I started something that grew this big. It’s not only a Canfield race, it’s an area race,” Fumi said.

He said the race set a record with 1,200 runners pre-registered, and hundreds more showed up Friday morning.

“It’s great for the community. There is people that come from every state to come back,” said Steve Hixson, race director for the Firecracker 4 Mile Run.

Kids got to run, too, in a fun race before the official run.

Phyllis Conroy and her friends said it’s a great day to celebrate America.

“I think the Fourth of July in Canfield is almost like Thanksgiving to other people,” Conroy said.

The Canfield parade, which followed the race, is in its 49th year. Every year, it honors someone who has made a big impact in the community.

Paul Rossi was this year’s Grand Marshal. He and his wife of 64 years, Gloria, rode along the parade route in a red convertible. Rossi, a World War II veteran, was Canfield High School’s band director and music teacher.

“It was 32 years I taught here and it was an enjoyable time,” Rossi said.

He also started the Concerts on the Green in Canfield in 1954.

Canfield’s 4th of July committee said there are big plans in the works for next year’s 50th anniversary parade.

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