Bexley News

Fourth fun to be part of PBS series

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CHRIS BOURNEA/THISWEEKNEWS
Bexley High School alumnus David Karanja plans to participate in the parade by decorating his van in patriotic colors.

The camera will be rolling as the Fourth of July parade in Bexley showcases a variety of floats created by residents, schools, community organizations and businesses.

The local PBS affiliate, WOSU-TV, is scheduled to film the festivities as part of an episode detailing the history of Bexley for its "Great Neighborhoods" series, said Anne Lewis with the Bexley Celebrations Association.

The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 4, at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Remington Road and conclude at Fair Avenue and Cassingham Road.

Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly around the world solo and a former Bexley resident, will serve as the honorary grand marshal. Her sister, Newark resident Susan Reid, will stand in for Mock, who now lives in Florida.

Among the floats will be an entry from Montrose Elementary School, featuring signs thanking the community for contributing to the fundraising effort to renovate the school's playground, said parent volunteer Sara O'Koon.

"We are keeping it simple this year, because the following weekend is the playground build," said O'Koon, who is organizing the float along with fellow parent volunteers Pamela Hagely and Meagan Matteson.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 1167 will ride on the Montrose float, along with student John Laing, who was instrumental in the fundraising effort for the playground renovation project, Koon said.

Another parade participant is Bexley High School alumnus David Karanja, who now attends Ohio State University.

Karanja said he and a group of friends plan to decorate the van they use for their local painting business in patriotic colors.

"We all love Bexley, and since I moved here from Kenya at age 6, it has given me many opportunities," said Karanja, who is now 20. "I've made a lot of friends here. It's such an amazing, welcoming community."

In addition to the parade, the Fourth of July celebration will include the John Barr 5K Run, which will start and end at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave., beginning at 8 a.m. Registration is $25 through noon Thursday, July 3, and $30 on the day of the race. To register, visit Premierraces.com.

A Community Celebration with family events, music and food will be held from 6 to 9:50 p.m. on the Capital University main lawn at the corner of East Main Street and College Avenue.

Residents are reminded that due to block parties, several of the streets around Capital will be closed.

Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. Fireworks are launched from the field between College Avenue and Pleasant Ridge Avenue, and several viewing areas will be available around Capital's Campus Center off Pleasant Ridge Avenue.

To volunteer and for more information, visit Bexleycelebrations.org.

Many Bexley High School alumni will return to the community for reunions during the Fourth of July weekend.

The Bexley Education Foundation and Bexley High School Alumni Association will co-host an Alumni Open House from 10 a.m. to noon July 5 at Bexley High School, 326 S. Cassingham Road. For more information about Bexley City Schools' Fourth of July activities, email KeyCommunicator@BexleySchools.org.

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