Parade will march on though fireworks, festival off
The Gahanna Lions Club traditional Independence Day Parade will march on starting at 10:30 a.m. July 4, despite city budget woes that canceled the annual Freedom Festival and fireworks.
Gahanna residents are encouraged to celebrate the theme "Faith, Family and Freedom," as the parade kicks off from Clark Hall onto Granville Street.
Lions Club parade coordinator Dave Barnecut said all parade participants should enter between Smashburger and the dry cleaners beginning at 8:30 a.m.
"Everybody is more than welcome to come," he said.
The Lions Club has sponsored the annual parade since 1946, encouraging the community to show its spirit and pride with floats, marching units, antique cars and trucks, and decorated bicycles.
"Whether your unit is large or small, it will show the spirit and interest that is a part of the city," Barnecut said. "Those watching the parade will appreciate the time and effort you put into your project."
Applications are available online from the city's web site at Gahanna.gov. Click on the parks and recreation department link.
"We'd like to have as many applications as we can so we know who's coming," Barnecut said. "We generally have five to seven floats.
"It seems like there may be more this year from the applications I've seen," he said. "The Moose Lodge on Johnstown Road will have a nice float and a couple Boy Scout troops and churches will have floats."
There is no charge for nonprofit organizations to participate in the parade. Commercial entries and politicians are required to pay a $60 fee.
Awards will be given for first, second and third place for best float and best boys and girls decorated bicycle.
"Everyone with a decorated bike gets a participation ribbon," Barnecut said.
He said about 30 participation applications had been received by June 21.
"We've had up to 70 entries," Barnecut added. "We don't have a lot of people campaigning (politician entries). We have one judge entry."
He said participants are discouraged from throwing candy from moving vehicles for safety reasons, but candy may be distributed by parade walkers.
In addition, Barnecut said, no participants will be permitted to stop to provide a performance in the parade.
The parade route will exit the Clark Hall parking lot onto Granville Street heading west. It will proceed west on U.S. Route 62 to Stygler Road, traveling north on Stygler.
The parade ends at the Royal Plaza Shopping Center parking lot for walkers. Those with floats and vehicles will continue to the parking lot at Middle School West.