New Albany's Fourth of July celebration will feature a new parade route this year, but local construction might make parking a challenge.
The celebration, organized by the New Albany Community Events board, will include a morning parade and an evening filled with entertainment on Friday, July 4, according to organizers.
The parade will step off at 10:30 a.m. from the New Albany Church of the Resurrection, and then proceed east on Dublin-Granville Road and south on Market Street, the same as last year, said Hans Schell, vice president of the New Albany Community Events board.
However, to avoid road construction at Main and Market streets, the parade will turn north into the parking lot of Market Square on the west side of the Rusty Bucket restaurant and move behind the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library before meeting up with Village Hall Road by the post office.
Schell cautioned that people who want to watch the parade might not be able to use chairs in that part of the parking lot.
From there, the route will continue north on Johnstown Road, west on Dublin-Granville Road and back to the church building, Schell said.
This year's parade emcees will be Jeff Hogan of WBNS-TV and Rob Yanok, president of the community events board. They will be on stage behind the Rusty Bucket.
Schell said a spot in the parade will be reserved for people finishing the New Albany Symphony Orchestra's 5K Walk and Run, which begins on Market Street at 8 a.m.
The parade grand marshal will be Phil Heit, founder of the New Albany Walking Classic and Healthy New Albany.
"While I am humbled at being designated grand marshal, I am more gratified for the recognition and respect that Healthy New Albany will receive at the parade," Heit said. "It's the Healthy New Albany volunteers, staff and partners that have been most instrumental in being able to create a concept and cultivate its transformation to a unique entity that will serve to improve the lives of everyone in our community and beyond."
Schell said organizers talked about highlighting the local health movement.
"Phil seemed like the natural choice (for grand marshal) because of the walk and all he's done for the community," Schell said.
The parade is expected to conclude at 11 a.m.
The celebration will pick up again at 6 p.m. at New Albany High School.
Schell said all activities will be set up on the lawn or outside the fence closer to the parking lot.
This year, the community events board has commissioned a speed-pitch game, a rock-climbing wall, an obstacle course, a large slide, bounce houses and a small bungee jump.
Schell said all activities are free.
Food vendors also will be present, along with a balloon clown, face painters and a caricature artist.
Lt. Dan's New Legs, described on the band's website as a hip-hop band that performs with "live instrumentation" and strong vocals, will perform from 6 to 9 p.m.
Schell said once the music stops, people are encouraged to move into the New Albany High School football stadium to view the fireworks.
Schell said because of school construction, the community has lost 400 to 500 parking spaces, with the New Albany Middle School parking lot and the parking lot north of the 2-5 elementary building at Swickard Woods closed for the work.
He said the high school lot will be open, along with the New Albany Church of the Resurrection parking lot. Other lots farther from the stadium, such as New Albany Village Hall, also will be open.
For more information or to view the parade route, visit newalbanycommunityevents.com.