AK Steel throws big partyBy Thomas Gnau
You have to hand it to AK Steel Corp.: This company knows how to
throw a party.
And the party continues this year, this time from 2:30 to 9:30
p.m. Monday near AK headquarters, 703 Curtis St., Middletown. It’s
free and all are invited.
The steelmaker isn’t straying far from what by now is a
tried-and-true formula. Vintage cars, vintage music, family fun,
culminating in symphonic excitement and fireworks, are all on the
A fun way to end the Labor Day weekend, in other words.
“We just encourage everyone to come out and have a good time,”
said Alan McCoy, AK’s vice president of public affairs.
The celebration has a short but honorable history: On Labor Day
weekend 2000, the company celebrated 100 years of steelmaking in
Middletown, dedicated a new stainless steel canopy at the AK
Pavilion on Bicentennial Commons, threw open the Middletown Works
hot strip mill and electrogalvanizing line to tours and more. Bands
and the Middletown Symphony Orchestra performed, and Rozzi’s Famous
Fireworks put on a show to remember.
Middletown liked what it saw, and residents said so — in droves,
“I quit counting how many comments on the fireworks we received,”
AK hosted another celebration last year. While there are no
guarantees, if the celebrations continue to seem right for the
community and the company, they could continue, McCoy said.
There are no plant tours this year — McCoy called them “a
monumental effort” — but there will be a health fair, featuring
screenings on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
George Matthew Verity started the American Rolling Mill Co. in
1899, and McCoy said members of the Verity family are always
welcome. AK has extended an invitation to grandson Bill Verity,
today in his 80s, to attend Monday’s celebration, but it wasn’t
certain earlier this week whether he would be on hand, McCoy said.
A line-up of classic cars is expected to cruise in. Children will
enjoy the magicians, clowns, face-painting, inflatable attractions
The music — a fun sampling of acts from the ‘60s — starts at 4
The Middletown Symphony will be set to perform at 7:15 p.m.
And the sky will light up with fireworks, courtesy of Rozzi’s,
beginning at 8:45 p.m.
No alcohol is permitted. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn
chairs and blankets. Refreshments and soft drinks will be sold.
Parking will be available at Taft and McKinley elementary
schools, Barnitz Stadium and an adjacent lot on Curtis between
Forest and Girard avenues.