By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport really knows how to celebrate the Fourth of July.
This year’s celebration features the traditional Main Street parade, music, food vendors, kids’ activities, and fireworks on July 4.
“This year’s celebration will be bigger and better with the addition of more than 10 food vendors, four different musical acts, and elevated kids activities,” said Groveport Community Affairs Department Executive Assistant Kristiauna Trelay. “New this year will be a video game truck that accommodates 16 to 20 people playing the latest games individually or all at once.”
The Main Street parade will start at 11 a.m. on July 4. Staging for the parade will be at the Groveport Recreation Center. The parade will start at Richardson Road and travel west on Main Street, then turn right onto Hendron Road and end at Glendening Elementary.
Mayor Lance Westcamp announced this year’s parade grand marshal will be John Hougland, a retired pharmacist who operated the Groveport Pharmacy on Main Street for many years and who also served as a city councilman.
“John has been a big part of our community for many years and he was especially helpful during his time on city council,” said Westcamp. “He is well deserving of this honor. He has done a lot for this community. The Fourth of July will be a great day.”
Added Trelay, “Former Councilman John Hougland is well known in the community. He’s a former local business owner and a very active resident.”
The fireworks will be launched at dusk on July 4 from Palm Pond in Heritage Park on Wirt Road. Tune into radio frequency 88.3 to hear background music during the fireworks.
“Groveport has one of the best fireworks displays in the area,” said Trelay.
Musical entertainment on July 4 begins on the main stage, located in the parking lot of Crooked Alley KidSpace, with Krash Landing from 2-3:30 p.m.; Whiskey Ridge from 4-5:30 p.m.; Ryder Band from 6-7:30 p.m.; and Willie Nelson Mandela from 8-9:45 p.m.
“All kids’ activities will be set up in the grassy area by the baseball fields off Wirt Road,” said Trelay.
Food vendors will also be located along Wirt Road.
“Food vendors must be in place by 9 a.m. and will be serving once they have set up in the parking lot behind Birch Tavern,” said Trelay.
The kids’ parade will take place July 4 with staging at 10 a.m. in the Middle School Central parking lot. Kid can decorate their bikes, wagons, and scooters in red, white, and blue. The kids’ parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at Middle School Central, 751 Main St., then proceeds west on Main Street, south on Oak Street to Crooked Alley Alley KidSpace, 630 Wirt Road.
Per a city ordinance, no animals are permitted in the festival event areas at any time during the city’s Fourth of July celebration.