The Norton Bicentennial Committee presents a weeklong celebration July 22 through July 29.

Norton Bicentennial Community Service

Sunday, July 22 at 7:00 pm – Norton Panther Stadium

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Norton’s Bicentennial Week starts with this Community Service. We are celebrating 200 Years: A Time for Reflection. Our speaker will be AJ Reiss, Capt, US Navy. Participants from some of our area churches and the community will take part in the evening. A community choir will perform two songs.
A.J. Reiss is a 1986 graduate of Norton High School and currently serves in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Oceanographer. He most recent assignments were Executive Assistant to the Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and the Naval Deputy to the Undersecretary of Commerce for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He currently serves as a Military Deputy at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA.

A.J’s Commanding Officer assignments included the Naval Maritime Forecast Center in Norfolk, VA and the Naval Oceanographic Office in Stennis Space Center, MS, where he was responsible for the Navy’s global oceanographic survey operations, including a team of over 800 military and civilian personnel, six oceanographic survey vessels and the largest continuously operating fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles. He holds a Master’s Degree in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School and has served over five years at sea on a fast frigate and an aircraft carrier.

A.J.’s navy career started in 1986 with a nomination letter to the United States Naval Academy from Ohio Senator John Glenn and has since logged 16 assignments and 10 household moves including tours in Japan, Hawaii and five other coastal states in the Union, all alongside his lifelong navigator and wife, Dana Lynn Reiss from Oakton, Virginia. Together, they are living the dream with a crew of five daughters, one son, and a small zoo!
Parking will be available at Grace Church and at Norton Schools.

Bicentennial Parade

Monday, July 23 at 6:00 pm – 1 Panther Way

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We will have an “old-times Bicentennial Parade” on Monday evening, @ 6:00 PM, July 23, 2018. The Bicentennial Parade will start promptly at 6:00 PM from the Norton High School and conclude off Greenwich Rd. with Family Night immediately following the parade in Columbia Woods park. The parade committee encourages marchers and floats displaying “happenings” during the past 200 years. In addition, we would love to have a pioneer covered wagon with oxen, mules or horses participate. Bring out your old jalopies and vintage muscle cars. We welcome groups of all kind from the Baton groups to the Scouts, make period floats of varying decades. Use your imagination and represent the past 200 years of Norton. You must register with the forms required in advance.

Parade line-up areas are WEST of Cleveland-Massillon Road on Panther Way. Please enter to the parade line- up via Easton Road. We will be using the Norton High School parking lots, the back entrance to Norton High School (off of Easton Road), and Easton Road for line-up.

Be early, and use Easton Road for your entrance to the parade lineup.

For more information on the parade, call Claude Collins, 330-606-2005 or email

Bicentennial Family Night

Monday, July 23 from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm – 4060 Columbia Woods Dr, Norton, OH 44203

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Visit Columbia Woods Park after the parade for an evening of fun, games, food and community fellowship. The NEW HORIZONS BAND will be performing, and the Norton Parks Board and friends will have children’s games such as Giant Jenga, Corn Hole, Frisbee Golf as well as other fun games. Finally, join us for a picnic dinner sponsored by the Norton Bicentennial Celebration Committee. All events are FREE!

Crossroads and Fertile Fields: A Portrait

of Norton

Tuesday, July 24 from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm  – Norton High School Performing Arts Center, 1 Panther Way, Norton, Ohio 44203


Henry, Abraham, and Sylvester, along with their 12 friends, will present Crossroads and Fertile Fields – the history of Norton, 200 years, cleverly written by Bill Vaill.

Be a part of the Bicentennial festivities – come and say hi to Henry. Thank you to Becky Rizor for helping Henry spread the word!! Follow our event on Facebook for the occasional update from Henry.

Written and Directed by William Vaill
Produced by Donna Longfellow
Music by New Horizons Orchestra, Director/Composer Jim Adkins
Visual Arts by Gray Longfellow/Lisa Merrick
Soloists: Deb Rizor White, Maureen Davis, Rose Morrison, Blake Miller, Matt Kaufman
Narrators: Bill Vaill, Jim Trenta, Blake Miller
Readers: Cody Stanley, Matt Kaufman, Dalia Spisak, Jamie Edwards, Tricia Pletcher, Scott Davis, Neva Gibson, Noah Mullenix, Maureen Davis, Bradley Haramis, Kim Miller, Donna Longfellow

Ox Roast/Corn Roast

Wednesday, July 25 at 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Columbia Woods Dr, Norton, OH 44203, United States

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Sponsored by the Norton Historical Society, the Annual Corn Roast will team up with the historic Ox Roast (we’re really having pulled pork)! Seiberling sweet corn makes this event one you can’t miss! $10.00 per adult/$5.00 per child (12 and under).

City of Norton 8th Annual Car Show

Thursday, July 26 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Columbia Woods Dr, Norton, OH 44203, United States

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The 8th Annual Car show will take place Thursday during the weeklong celebration, including the Lions Club Steak Dinner and an Ice Cream Social hosted by the Friends of the Norton Library. Dash Plaques will be given to the first 100 cars.

After the show, stick around for a concert by Disco Inferno!

  • The 8th Annual Car Show – Registration from 5:00 – 6:00 – Car Show from 6:00 – 8:00
  • Steak Dinner sponsored by Copley-Norton Lions Club – $12.00
  • Ice Cream Social sponsored by Friends of the Norton Library – $3.00
  • Followed by Disco Inferno from 8:00 – 10:00pm

Patriotic Night with Mark Leach

Friday, July 27 from 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm  – Columbia Woods Dr, Norton, OH 44203, United States
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Join us for a night of great music! Opening from 6:30 – 7:30 is the Metro Parks Ensemble….followed by Mark Leach from 8:00 – 10:00pm. Admission is FREE.

One listen to the smooth, baritone voice of Mark Leach and you quickly realize that the future of country music is in good hands. At just 26 years old, Mark has always had an innate sense of who is musically that has been shaped by many influences. Growing up in a small town just outside of Akron, OH,(NORTON) Mark got his first taste of performing through a couple of sources: First, in his high school’s theater program where a teacher pushed him beyond his comfort zone and second, playing in various bands with high school friends.

From there, Mark took the next step in his career by fronting his own band in college. Playing clubs and festivals in the Ohio area, Mark quickly established himself as a crowd favorite and was often the requested opening act for regional and national artists traveling through the area. At the same time, Mark was making frequent visits to Nashville, and when he made the decision to move to Music City in 2015, not only was it anticipated, but it was celebrated with broad excitement from his fans.

In 4 short years, Mark has released three self-funded projects. “With Love From Tennessee” in 2013 was followed by the EP “Let’s Get Lost” in 2014. And in 2016, for his first project after moving to Nashville, Mark partnered with Grammy-nominated producer Matt McClure (known for his work with Lee Brice), and the resulting EP “Homemade” turned out to be a “home run” with a #11 appearance on the iTunes chart. In 2017, Mark recorded and released his latest single “She Don’t Go To Church” after massive fan response on his YouTube page when he posted an acoustic version shortly after writing the song. The signs of a hit were there – the single hit #2 during pre-orders, the only independent single to land among the major label artists at that high level, pointing to many good things to come.

Mark tours regularly, and in addition to his own headlining shows, he has had the opportunity to open for a growing list of national artists including Kip Moore, Gary Allan, Granger Smith, Colt Ford, Chris Jansen, Jon Pardi, and the biggest yet – Eric Church. “That was the most surreal phone call of my life,” Mark says about being asked to open for Church at The Country Fest in Ohio in 2016.

Since moving to Music City, Mark has spent much of his time writing with prominent songwriters around town and working on new material for his next release. With the success of the last few years, the coming years will be the brightest yet for Mark. “My fans become my friends and I’m always looking to meet new friends in new cities, and build on what has been a lot of fun for me through the years.” We look forward to coming to a city near you.

Bicentennial Road Rally

Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 am – 1:30 pm – Loyal Oak Grace United Church, 3285 S. Cleveland Massillon Road

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Dust off your vintage cars, grab the family sedan or hop on your motorcycle but wear your best and craziest rally clothes and join the fun for a road rally around the City of Norton. Drivers and Navigators will follow directions and clues while answering questions and taking photos along the “unknown” route leading you around Norton. Points, mileage and time will be a factor in determining the winners. Hopefully, you won’t have to open your “Emergency Kit”. Cash prize for 1st place. Gift Certificates to local businesses for 2nd and 3rd place finishers. Keychains commemorating the event will be given to all participants.

Please contact the Norton Historical Society for more information.

The Easy Street Band & Fireworks

Saturday, July 28 from 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm – Columbia Woods Dr, Norton, OH 44203, United StatesEasy Street with The Rats logo.png

Easy Street will play from 7:30 – 10:00pm, and an amazing firework display is scheduled for 10:00pm.

Easy Street’s beginnings come from our first band – The Rats. The Rats (Norton and Barberton “boys”) formed the band in 1971 as freshman at the University of Akron. We played college events, frat parties, high school dances, festivals, churches, coffeehouses, private parties, some bars like; Fat Albert’s, the Welcome Inn, the Corral, the Basement and dozens of other watering holes & dives. We set our sites on becoming something bigger and in June of ‘76, we added a couple new members, decided we might be able to actually do this for a living and became Easy Street.

Easy Street is still so closely identified with the glory days of local rock and roll that the band’s self-titled album, bumper sticker and hat were a part of the set on ABC TV’s Drew Carey Show. The band’s self-titled 1982 album ranked among WMMS’ top 25 releases, sandwiched between Robert Plant and Bruce Springsteen. MSB’s Michael Stanley and Kevin Raleigh made guest appearances on this record as back-up vocalists.

In 1990, the Easy Street Band had their first reunion concert at Tangier’s in Akron. The sell out nights continue and their next reunion will be November 2 and 3, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

Historic Home Tour

Sunday, July 29 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Biery House and Museum3412 Greenwich Rd, Norton, Ohio 44203

Join us for a tour of some of the historic homes in Norton. We will meet at 1:00pm at the Biery House to receive our Home Tour booklet.What an awesome way to wrap up the Bicentennial Week.

Have questions about our weeklong event? Contact us.


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