"Proud to be an American" is the theme of the Gahanna Lions Club's annual July 4 parade scheduled to step off at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 4, from Clark Hall, 380 Granville St.
Parade chairman Don Quick of the Gahanna Lions said he anticipates 200 to 300 entries for the annual event that traditionally lasts about an hour.
The parade route will follow Granville Street westward and end at the Royal Manor Elementary School parking lot on Agler Road.
The Lions Club asked the Mifflin Township Fire Department to serve in the honored role of parade grand marshal.
"We asked them to be grand marshal for all the services they perform, as opposed to an individual," Quick said. "That entails a grand marshal sign on the lead vehicle. The fire chief will be in it."
Fire Chief Tim Taylor said it's quite an honor for the department to be honored by the Lions.
"We are privileged to have such a professional and selfless group of firefighters in our community," he said. "I consider this a departmental honor."
In addition to Mifflin Township fire equipment in the parade, Quick said, he expects several floats from area churches, antique cars, horses, karate groups, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Gahanna Lincoln High School band and politicians.
"Some of them will throw candy, and others distribute water," he said.
Youths are encouraged to decorate their bikes, with ribbons being awarded for the best in each category.
All parade participants should gather at 9 a.m. behind Clark Hall, entering the staging area from the traffic signal off Hamilton Road, next to Smashburger.
A Lions Club member will be available to direct parade participants to the appropriate staging area.
The parade will exit the area onto Granville Street, west between Clark Hall and Dairy Queen.
The parade will end at the Royal Plaza shopping center on Stygler Road for the walkers, but the motorized units will continue to Middle School West.
Quick said the Gahanna Lions Club has existed since 1946.
"We haven't had the parade that long, but it has been quite a few years," he said. "We do get cooperation from the parks and recreation department."