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'Good food and happy smiles:' Vendors prepare for return of Red, White & BOOM!

BOOM! is the largest single-day event in Columbus. Organizers expect over 400,000 visitors, and 100 local and national vendors.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 40th annual Red, White & BOOM! kicks off Friday with 100 local and national vendors.

"I can do backflips, but I'm on the heavy side," said James Palmieri, owner of Pappy's All Night Pork. "But I love it. I'm really excited about all this."

Held in downtown Columbus, the event offers Independence Day activities including a free parade, street festival, two stages of live music entertainment, and vendors serving festival favorites. 

"We do homemade funnel cake with a deep-fried batter. Very good, it's one of my favorites, but we make different kinds like Milky Way's, we make Reese's, we make Butter Finger," said Alisa Sasser, an employee at Teamco Food Service.

At 9:45 p.m. Friday, flags will be lowered. Fireworks will be fired from the east bank of Genoa Park at 10 p.m.

The event spans 2.5 square miles of downtown Columbus with viewing areas for the fireworks at Battelle Riverfront Park, Bicentennial Park, and McFerson Commons Park. Visitors are advised to review the street closures surrounding the event.

To learn more about the street closures and everything you need to know about the event, click here.

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