Thunder Over Holmes County is an explosive good time

Thunder Over Holmes County is an explosive good time

Thunder Over Holmes County is one of those events where you can come to town in the morning and spend the entire day in the downtown area.


Ohio temperatures hovering around 103 F are a true rarity, but last year during the annual Thunder Over Holmes County in Historic Downtown Millersburg, that is exactly what patrons endured for this family event.

“I hope we never experience anything that hot ever again for this event,” HDM director Judy Lamp said. “It got so hot that we had to shut down the zorb balls because it was like an oven inside of them.”

Despite the heat, the event continued to be one of the big draws in Holmes County, providing a playground for the entire family. The event has always been designed to be fun for kids and to bring out the big kid in everyone. This year promises to be more of the same when Millersburg comes alive on Saturday, June 29.

All of the activities lead up to the grand finale: the glitz and sound of a fireworks display.

“Thunder Over Holmes County is one of those events where you can come to town in the morning and spend the entire day celebrating, whether it is with the kids’ games, the music, the food or just taking the opportunity to shop the downtown area,” Lamp said.

The morning will kick off with Chalk the Lot from 8 a.m. to noon at the Commercial & Savings Bank parking lot. Last year saw artists purchase one of the many blocks available and turn the blacktop into a work of art. For some of the blocks purchased, kids put their mark into the event.

“I think people who haven’t seen this event will be absolutely shocked at how incredible some of this artwork is,” Lamp said.

A huge area on the south side of the courthouse will be home for plenty of free activities for children, like inflatables, interactive games and games designed for toddlers to teens.

The kids’ game area will again be overseen by the crew of counselors from Skyview Ranch, who add their own zeal and make the games even more enjoyable for the kids.

The list of games include a bounce house, inflatable baseball, soccer and football games, a slide and the obstacle course.

“There is just so much for the kids to enjoy, whether it is games that are active to face painting,” Lamp said.

Kids can play all day with the Skyview Ranch crew there to supervise and lead, so parents can feel good about leaving their children in a safe place while they enjoy downtown.

“I think it is worth coming just to watch the Skyview Ranch crew do their thing. They are so energetic and make it fun for everyone,” Lamp said. “The game area is so huge. Normally it would cost about $15 to buy a ticket, but we continue to make it free for families because this is a celebration of our community.”

New to the party this year will be appearances from The Transformer Bumblebee, Marshall the Dog from “Paw Patrol” and Brutus Buckeye in the play area, providing ample opportunity for photos.

There also will be live music on the courthouse lawn, where Vanilla Cherry Band will perform in front of the courthouse on the north stage beginning at 7 p.m. The band is sponsored by the Millersburg Lions Club. In addition Lamp said they are bringing back game favorites for kids and adults.

“We are bringing back some games like the pie-eating contest and the watermelon seed spitting contest and some other fun events designed for everyone,” Lamp said.

While people will be active and on the move all over town during the day, come dusk they will settle into their lawn chairs or blankets for the firework display that will begin around 9:30 p.m.

“It’s a perfect way to celebrate our community and Independence Day,” Lamp said. “This event has really continued to grow and become bigger and better each year.”

Plenty of food will be available throughout downtown including local restaurants, food vendors and a chicken barbecue.

Lamp said she ran into a couple from Pittsburgh last year who happened to wander into the fray. They asked where they could buy tickets, and when Lamp told them it was all free, they were flabbergasted.

“They made a point of returning this year, which is exciting to hear because that is why we do this, to make it fun for everyone and make it something where families will want to come back year after year. And it is totally free.”

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