Northland News

July 4 parade will have international flavor

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It might come down to a guy in a penguin costume.

Brandon L. Boos, the secretary to the Northland Community Council, dressing up as one of the flightless birds from Antarctica, is among the options being considered so that all seven of Earth's continents are represented in this year's July Fourth parade in Northland.

The theme this year is "Northland International Celebrating America," and organizers have vowed that the grand marshals will represent each of the continents.

"We're having a little trouble with Antarctica," parade Chairwoman Sandy LaFollette conceded last week.

Hence, the former parade chairman, George Schmidt, suggested Boos dress as a tuxedo-like bird.

"If he wants to do it, I'd like to see it," LaFollette said.

"Every year, we try to change our focus a little bit and give it a different theme," she added. "Everyone -- unless you're a Native American -- comes from somewhere. The idea is we're all Americans now, which is a cool thing. We chose to be Americans, but we're from everywhere."

The parade, often touted as the largest in Ohio sponsored by a civic association, starts at 11 a.m. July 4 at the intersection of Morse and Karl roads. It will then head north on Karl to East Dublin-Granville Road.

While the majority of parade entries come in during the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, LaFollette said so far, things are running ahead of schedule from last year, when there were 90-plus entrants.

"I'm hoping we have more than that, and we're getting them in," she said.

High school bands, sports teams, those seeking an elected office, NCC-member organizations and others will be represented. Having Mayor Michael B. Coleman march in the parade has become a fixture in recent years, and LaFollette said she expects he will be on hand again this year.

Following the parade, for the fourth year in a row the Hadler Cos. will sponsor the Columbus Square Classic Car Show. Featuring all makes and models of cars as well as motorcycles, the event will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the Columbus Square Shopping Center, at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and East Dublin-Granville Road.

Advance registration for classic vehicles is $10, while registration that day will be $15. Registration runs from noon to 2 p.m. when the judging begins for awards such as Best of Show, Best Interior, Most Radical and Longest Distance.

Food and beverages, a nine-hole miniature golf course, clowns and balloons, along with live music and a disc jockey are on tap during the show.

The car gathering also will feature the first public showing in the region of "The Lima Company Memorial, the Eyes of Freedom," a traveling outdoor exhibit. The memorial was created by Westerville artist Anita Miller. It was first exhibited in the Statehouse Rotunda in May 2008.

Also on tap after the parade, the National College Columbus Campus at Columbus Square will sponsor a performance by Professor Doug Lewis and the Phil Am Band starting at 1 p.m. at 5665 Forest Hills Blvd.

"I think that's really great," LaFollette said of these additions to the parade. "It really makes a great day for the people in Northland. I'm just really impressed with the way everybody wants to have a fun and family-oriented activity."

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