The city of Delaware is gearing up for its annual Fourth of July celebration that includes a parade and the traditional Central Ohio Symphony concert to lead into the fireworks display.
A parade sponsored by the Delaware County Farm Bureau kicks off the day's festivities at 3 p.m. July 4. It will step off from the Liberty Gate at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and head east to Pennsylvania Avenue.
The parade will continue south onto Sandusky Street and make a final turn east onto Wilmer Street before dismantling at the Shelby Field parking lot.
Tom Price, owner of Price Marketing and Price-Barnes Organics, will lead the parade, along with his family, as the honorary grand marshal. Price was inducted into the Ohio Agriculture Hall of Fame during last year's Delaware County Fair.
Parade organizer Cathy Dawson said there usually are 50 to 60 groups registered to walk or ride in the parade. Although participation forms can be completed in advance online, Dawson said anyone is invited to register for the parade up until lineup at noon July 4. Participants who will drive the route need only proof of insurance to register.
"We're just hoping to get the community together to help celebrate our independence and honor our veterans," Dawson said.
The Central Ohio Symphony will continue the celebration at 7:30 p.m. on the Phillips Glen lawn at Ohio Wesleyan University.
The free concert will feature patriotic tunes written by American composers, such as John Phillip Sousa's Liberty Bell March and the Armed Forces Salute. Hayes High School students will make an appearance to sing the national anthem, and Jacob Market, an Oberlin Conservatory graduate, will premiere a piece of music that was inspired by the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
Lawn seating at the concert is free, but a limited number of tickets for chairs at the front of the stage can be purchased at the symphony offices, Beehive Books and Buehler's Fresh Foods. Tickets are $5 per chair.
A fireworks show that attracts an estimated 20,000 to downtown Delaware will serve as the grand finale of the concert and the day's events.
For the fourth consecutive year, the celebration has survived with the help of local donors and volunteers. To ensure the fireworks will be set off as usual, local businesses, including Byers Automotive, Meijer and OhioHealth, together donated more than $25,000.
"Delaware is fortunate to have so many great companies step up to keep the annual Fourth of July fireworks show one of our most cherished civic traditions," Mayor Gary Milner said in a Delaware press release. "This is a great example of what can happen when we all pull together."