The Canal Winchester Times


Earlier parade will kick off July 4 activities


Organizers of Groveport's Fourth of July celebration hope attendees have a cool time with an earlier start to the hot summer attraction.

The 2013 event will kick off with the Main Street parade, starting at 11 a.m. July 4. Live music, activities and food will be available at Heritage Park until the big fireworks finale.

In previous years, the parade was held mid-afternoon, when the day is at its hottest. After last year's heat and storms, event organizers decided an 11 a.m. start time this year would make the parade more enjoyable and would bring people out earlier for a relaxing afternoon of entertainment in the park.

"Because we decided to do the parade earlier, we can have more bands playing and activities at the park," organizer Patty Storts said. "Just about everything will be free, so people who come out just need money for food and should bring a lawn chair for the entertainment and fireworks show."

The lineup includes:

• 1:20 to 2:30 p.m., Cornerstone Gospel Group

• 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., Madison Christian Choir

• 3:45 to 5:15 p.m., Tom Bauman and the Dream Chasers

• 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Summer Breeze

• 7:45 to 9:45 p.m., Paradise Island

Storts said the city will have bounce houses and face-painting for the kids, a half-dozen or more food concessions and there will be a sanctioned kiddie tractor pull.

"Last year was our first year for the kiddie tractor pull and we had 25 kids participate," she said. "It was a big hit. Since this is a sanctioned tractor pull, the kids that win are eligible to compete in a state kiddie tractor pull competition where the winner then is able to compete in the nationals."

Children also are invited to participate in the Kid and Pet Parade, which starts at 3 p.m. Registration for the kiddie tractor pull opens at 4 p.m. with the event itself beginning at 5 p.m.

"We're hoping that the kiddie tractor pull grows a lot this year because the kids just loved it," Storts said. "The fireworks show is one of my favorites and it is fantastic every year and will be great this year, lasting about 30 minutes total."

The fireworks, scheduled to begin at dusk, will be fired off from just behind Palm Pond in Heritage Park.

"We have a full day of activities planned for the Fourth of July celebration," Community Affairs Director Linda Haley said. "I'm really looking forward to it."

Visitors are encouraged to park free in and around Heritage Park for the most convenient access to all of the July Fourth activities. For information, call Storts at 614-830-2042.