The Orange Township Business Association will sponsor its third annual Fourth of July parade.

The Orange Township Business Association will sponsor its third annual Fourth of July parade.

The parade will step off at 10 a.m. from the Oak Creek shopping center and will travel east on Powell Road to South Old State, then east on Orange Road, ending at Orange Middle School.

Also this year, the parade will be preceded by a four-mile run, following the parade route and starting at 9:15 a.m.

One thing that will be missing is the July 4 festival held in 2006 and 2007.

OTBA special events chair Teresa Johnson said finances were among a number of reasons for dropping the event. Finding enough volunteers was another. Construction of the new Orange High School would limit space at Orange Middle School, where the festival was held.

OTBA board chair Julie Riber said another problem was most people attending the festival did so immediately following the parade.

After a couple hours at the festival, she said, people with children left, so it was hard for the vendors to make a profit.

Another issue was there weren't many vendors because many were booked for other events. That created long lines for food and rides.

Despite the challenges, parade director Debbie Taranto Antoun said, "The festival was absolutely wonderful and it was well-received. Hopefully Orange Township will get involved and organize this type of event for the community in the future."

Parade participants will include Tom McDonnell, new principal for Olentangy High School, and Todd Meyer, new principal of Orange High School.

The parade will have a kiddie bike section for youngsters up to 12 years of age and parents with strollers.

Johnson said it is important for parents to participate in the kiddie bike section because the length of the parade.

"Parents really need to chaperone because children may not last the entire two miles," she said.

Politicians, Orange Township trustees and marching bands also will participate.

"It's hard to get bands on a major holiday because a lot of them have been doing celebrations in other areas," Johnson said.

More than 80 OTBA members will participate and give away candy, novelty items and trade show bags.

Earlier parades had 1,000 participants each, with a lot of people registering at the last minute, Johnson said.

The parade is funded by sponsorships, the largest of which is from Associated Financial Services, which gave $6.000.

Those interested in the four-mile run should visit www.otba.net.