ZANESVILLE — Creating a buzz is the focus for the Zanesville Jaycees.
The organization followed through with plenty to offer the community and families during the annual Stars and Stripes on the River event held on Sunday and Monday at Zane's Landing.
Travis Reed, the Jaycees vice president, noted this year's event featured the most vendors and bands, as eight acts offered music during the two-day event.
Fireworks were on display after dusk on Monday evening.
"We want Zanesville to be a place for people and families to get together and have fun," Reed said. "We weren't sure how it would be after COVID, but we had a big crowd last year because people wanted to get out. We knew it would be tough to follow up, but we wanted to build off that momentum. We wanted to make sure it was a whole-day event that everyone, especially families, would enjoy."
The Jaycees had plenty of rides and games for the youngsters, while numerous food vendors were set up near the entrance of Zane's Landing.
The Jaycees also awarded $15,000 in scholarships to 15 area seniors, and the Eagle Riders had a stand where they had drawings to give away bikes to the youth.
Giving back is the focus for the Jaycees, noted Reed. He added area high school students can apply for scholarships year-round by visiting the organization's website, zanesvillejaycees.org.
"This event is free to get in," Reed said of Stars & Stripes. "Our organization is about raising money and giving back to the community. We want to make downtown Zanesville a destination for everyone."
Plenty of families visited Zane's Landing on Monday, allowing children to partake in a variety of rides and games. Melissa Fuchs, who recently moved to Zanesville, made her first visit to the event with her granddaughter, Sage Kaiser.
Fuchs heard about it on social media and wanted to take in the atmosphere and activities.
"When I heard about it, I told my granddaughter we should go check it out," she said. "They have smaller rides for the kids, and you can see it's made for the family. There's a sense of community here, and we're excited to watch the fireworks later."
Christina Horton brought her daughter, Mia Hayes, and a friend, Tayleiah Harris, to the event, which has become tradition for her family.
"It's nice to have this for families with kids so there is something to do for the holiday," Horton said. "It's a great way to celebrate the 4th with each other and the community."
Ring toss drew the interest of a young Harper Wisecarver. She won a bracelet and a pop it during the game and was looking forward to the rides and fireworks.
"I like the spinning rides because they go fast," she said. "Fireworks are great, and they're a lot of fun to watch."
Taking advantage of the family-friendly event brought Brittany Mayle out with her daughter, Zariah Moody. She hopes this event will be around for years to come.
"This is a chance to get out as a family, and there's a lot of fun things for the kids to do," Mayle said. "It's important to have events like this because it brings the community together."
This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Stars & Stripes draws in crowd to celebrate 4th of July