NORTH CANTON  North Canton residents lined both sides of Main Street to watch the annual July 4th annual Jaycees Parade make its way through the downtown area. The parade starts every year at North Canton Memorial Stadium around 10:30 a.m. and makes its way south on Main Street ending at North Canton Middle School off of Harmon Street.

The kids along the parade route were ready with bags and buckets to fill with the candy many of the units throw out on the street during the parade. Mayor David Held got in on the candy action by walking the parade route and handing out candy to kids.

"We had 30 units this year ranging from ball teams, churches, local businesses to many other community organizations," wrote Trevor Ivan, public relations director of the North Canton Jaycees in an email interview.

Every year the Jaycees’ annual Fourth of July Parade adopts a charity and asks the parade participants to make donations such as food items or clothing to it. The charity this year was Serving Area Military, Veterans and Widows (S.A.M.). The S.A.M. center is located in Massillon and serves veterans, their families and widows of veterans all across Stark County.

The North Canton Chamber of Commerce has been a longtime partner helping the Jaycees organize the July 4 parade. The fireworks show also receives help from the city of North Canton and sponsors. Ivan wrote that the support from the Amy Wengard Group from Re/Max Crossroads was instrumental in the success of this year’s events. Other sponsors included Gervasi Vineyard, Mohler Lumber, Patrick DeOrio and Mark Cerreta.

The Jaycees hosted Erin Stoll, a Nashville recording artist and Ohio native, and his band as entertainment throughout the evening. 

"The North Canton Chamber is proud of our decades of partnership with the North Canton Jaycees and enjoy celebrating our nation's birthday in such a wonderful way...connecting with our community along Main Street," chamber President Doug Lane wrote in an email statement.

"We are always glad to have the North Canton Chamber’s support and help with so many of our events including the parade and the fireworks show later in the evening. Both organizations continually look for ways to work together to complement our efforts to serve the community," Ivan wrote.