The Bexley Independence Day celebration will get started a day early this year when the Bexley United Methodist Church hosts a special community worship service and after-service event at 10 a.m., Sunday, July 3, at 2657 E. Broad St.

The Bexley Independence Day celebration will get started a day early this year when the Bexley United Methodist Church hosts a special community worship service and after-service event at 10 a.m., Sunday, July 3, at 2657 E. Broad St.

The outdoor event, dubbed "God & Country: Community Worship and Celebration," will feature an inspirational music program, food, and fun and games for all ages, including a cornhole tournament. The event is open to the public.

For more information, call the church office at (614) 231-2781 or visit www.BexleyUMC.org.

Festivities get under way the morning of July 4 with the annual Independence Day parade, sponsored by the Bexley Celebrations Association. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Maryland Avenue Elementary School and will follow a 2.8-mile route through the city.

The theme of the parade is "Out of many, one."

Capt. Robert Doremus (U.S. Navy, retired) will serve as the grand marshal. Doremus is the recipient of five military awards including two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V," the Legion of Merit, and the Prisoner of War Medal.

The Bexley fireworks show takes place at Capital University that evening.

The evening will include food from local restaurants (5 to 9:45 p.m.) and games for children on the front lawn of Capital University. Admission is free.

Children will be able to enjoy a rock-climbing wall and games such as cornhole and carry-the-egg. A large arts and crafts section with face painting will also be available.

Two Bexley-based bands will also play. Music in the Meadow begins at 5 p.m., playing orchestra music. Big Rockin' Blues Band starts at 6:45 p.m. At 8:10 p.m., the Citizen of the Year award will be presented to Susan Quinten, who has played a major role in the Bexley Farmers Market, the Main Street Guidelines Committee, the Heritage Fund (now the Bexley Community Foundation), Community Clean-up Day and the Bexley Beautification Fund.

McGuffey Lane will then perform until the Bexley High School drum line leads attendees to Capital's soccer field for the fireworks presentation, which will be accompanied by music. Students from Bexley High School will sing the national anthem.

The B.E.A.T. Bus will provide free shuttle service from 5 to 11:30 p.m., running every 15 minutes (except during the fireworks show), picking up every 15 minutes from Cassingham Elementary, Maryland Avenue School and the Columbus School for Girls Drexel Avenue lot.