Toledo’s Day In The Sun Celebration Announced
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz today announced the events planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the historic Jess Willard vs. Jack Dempsey fight that took place on July 4, 1919 – “Toledo’s Day In The Sun.”
“A century after Toledo’s most famed sporting event, which placed our city at the center of the sports world in 1919 — when Jack Dempsey defeated Jess Willard in a 97,000-seat wooden stadium built at Bay View Park specifically for the heavyweight boxing championship bout — we are bringing the fight of the century back to life this summer,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “This is a first-of-its-kind production, with a replica of the stadium and a free-admission reenactment of the bout on July 4. The series of events will include actors in period dress.”
The events planned for the anniversary include:
- Block Party Preview, June 13, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., on St. Clair Street in front of the Toledo History Museum.
Drinks, food, special guests with an exclusive preview of the exhibit at the museum. The event is sponsored by Huntington Bank. Tickets are $20.
- Grand Opening of the Toledo History Museum exhibit, June 20, 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Created in partnership with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, The Toledo Museum of Art, and the Toledo Blade, the show will feature photos, articles, films, and other memorabilia from Toledo’s Day In The Sun 100 years ago. The evening is also the Arts Commission’s Third Thursday Art Loop. The theme of the loop is “The Art of Sport.” Many of the venues will highlight sports, movement, boxing, and Toledo’s rich history and current involvement in sports. The Toledo History Museum will be a featured exhibition.
- Toledo’s Day In The Sun Celebration July 4, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Detwiler Park
The free, family-friendly day-long event, which is sponsored by Crestline Paving and Excavating, includes:
o Junior Golden Glove amateur bouts.
o Displays from eight boxing gyms with information and free educational sessions for children.
o DJ, food trucks, drinks, t-shirts, and other merchandise for sale.
o A recreation of the world-famous fight with professional actors trained by Chicago-based fight director Charles Coyl. A portion of the stadium will be built by volunteer help from the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Local 351. Fred Lefebvre of WSPD-AM 1370 will be the announcer.
- Toledo’s Day In The Sun Professional Boxing Night, July 6, 7 p.m., at Seagate Convention Center
Six cards, local boxers, historical displays, and more. Confirmed boxers include Robert Mumford, Jr., Antwan Jones, Elias Moreno, and Terrance Jarmon. Tickets start at $25.
The city of Toledo supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability to fully participate in any city program or event, please contact Joan Easler, city of Toledo ADA Administrator, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, at 419-245-1059.