Independence Day is one of our busier holidays of the year. The weather didn’t really cooperate this year, threatening rain pretty much all weekend. As a result, the attendance numbers are a little lower compared to last year. Highbanks led in attendance over the holiday weekend with a total of 13,263 visitors, followed by Battelle Darby Creek with 12,536, Three Creeks with 9,605, Sharon Woods with 9,804 and Scioto Audubon with 8,181. Total holiday weekend visitation was 108,233 (100,832 if you take out Rocky Fork and Scioto Grove, both of which were not open last year) which is down from 114,227 last year.
Red White and Boom operations on Friday, July 1, 2016 at Scioto Audubon went very smoothly. We estimated around 18,000 people (not included in the holiday weekend attendance numbers) in the park for the event, which is up slightly from last year. Again, very few incidents for as many people in such a small area. We escorted a drunk individual to Netcare after he attempted to tackle one of our maintenance workers and assault another individual. Other than a few warnings for fireworks and alcohol, no other incidents occurred during the event. Thanks to Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for sending a mobile command center, bike patrol unit, the mounted unit and patrol deputies to assist with keeping our visitors safe. Columbus Police Department also sent a bike unit to help with patrol and we are very appreciative for their support.
The remainder of the holiday weekend went smoothly, as well. A dog bite was reported at Prairie Oaks Metro Park and Rangers observed a traffic accident on adjacent roadways. They contacted Ohio State Patrol who arrested the driver for OVI. Rangers assisted medics at Battelle Darby Creek with an elderly visitor having a medical issue. Rangers at Sharon Woods Metro Park assisted Sharon Township Police department on a traffic stop where citations were issued for OVI and expired tags. Finally, Rangers at Blendon Woods dealt with two vehicles left in the park after hours.
Once again, thank you to our visitors for coming out to enjoy Independence Day in a safe and family oriented manner.