Pandemic attendance restrictions lifted for 4th of July celebration in Bexley

Bexley’s 4th of July festivities will return to pre-pandemic capacity.

Activities will take place at various locations around the city and will include the annual John Barr 5K, an evening celebration and fireworks display on Capital University’s main street lawn and a parade through neighborhoods in the morning.

Admission for the 2021 festivities has been limited to promote social distancing.

“Celebrating the parade is a great way for the community to come together for friends to see each other,” said Elizabeth Ellman, the city’s sustainability programs coordinator and one of the parade organizers. “Particularly in the last few years, we haven’t had as many opportunities as we would have liked to unite.”

The parade will include floats, a caravan of local elected officials and school representatives, an antique fire truck, vintage cars and performances by dance teams and marching bands from Bexley City schools, Ellman said.

Barb Greiner, longtime administrator of the Bexley Parks and Recreation Department, who retired earlier this year, will be the parade grand marshal and assume the honorary title of ‘Citizen of the Year’.

The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of North Remington Road and Maryland Avenue. The parade will follow the 2021 route and include Astor Avenue.

The extended route that was followed last year took into account the need for social distancing, Mayor Ben Kessler said. While planning for this year’s parade, he said the city issued a survey through its weekly email newsletter to gauge feedback from residents.

“We had 472 responses. It was a sort of binary survey: “How do you feel about this route versus the other,” Kessler said at the Bexley town council meeting on June 14. “Seventy-five percent of (survey respondents) wanted the longest route. Unsurprisingly, those taking part in the parade and walking it were evenly split – 50% wanting the longest route or the shortest route.

The John Barr 5K will start at 8 a.m. at the Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave. The evening celebration at Capital will begin at 6 p.m., with food vendors, live music and entertainment for all ages. The celebratory evening will also include a program recognizing Bexley’s military veterans and frontline workers.

The fireworks are to be launched at 10 p.m. from the grounds between College and Pleasant Ridge Avenues.

“The 4th of July at Bexley is always full of fun and exciting activities – whether it’s the evening parade or events or the John Bar 5K in the morning,” Ellman said. “It’s really just a fun way to celebrate with our neighbors, friends and family.”

To register for the John Barr 5K and for more information on the 4th of July festivities, visit bexley.org/fourth.

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