"The rocket's red glare" will burst over Reynoldsburg as part of a two-day celebration of Independence Day.

"The rocket's red glare" will burst over Reynoldsburg as part of a two-day celebration of Independence Day.

Festivities start July 3 with carnival games, inflatables and food vendors from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Civic Park, 1600 Daugherty Drive.

Joe Brown, director of the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department, said the inflatable games will be free. Five different food vendors will sell food at the park, he said.

"We will also showcase the band Franklin Express, from 7 to 9 p.m.," he said.

The fireworks display is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. July 3.

"The park entrance closes to all vehicular traffic at 9:30 p.m., so people should get to the park early for the fireworks," Brown said.

Firecracker 5K

The Mount Carmel Firecracker 5K and the annual Independence Day parade are planned July 4.

The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. July 4 at the Reynoldsburg Senior Citizens Center, 1520 Davidson Ave. Registration opens at 7 a.m.; the fee is $25 per person.

Runners will follow a 3.1-mile course through the city, according to Mary Hudson, director of the Reynoldsburg Visitors and Community Activities Bureau.

Teams from the Reynoldsburg Police Department and Truro Township Fire Department will compete against each other in the annual "Guns and Hoses" portion of the run.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Reynoldsburg DARE program.

"We are trying to bolster participation in the race," Hudson said. "We hope people will make it a family event, walking or running in the race and then watching the parade."

For more information about the Firecracker 5K, call 614-866-4888.

Parade grand marshal

The theme of this year's July 4 parade is "Honoring Our Local Heroes." Hudson said the grand marshal will be "local hero" Bob Martin, owner of Ohio Select, a family-owned business that has operated in Reynoldsburg for the past 43 years.

"We are excited that our grand marshal is Bob Martin," she said. "He is a longtime resident and business owner as well as community volunteer. The honor is long overdue and very well deserved."

Chuck Cochran, with the Reynoldsburg Community Association, said a committee chose Martin because "he has been a staple in the Reynoldsburg community for many years."

"He runs Ohio Select and has been president of the Jaycees and has been a longtime volunteer," Cochran said. "He has also been the head parade marshal for many years, basically marking up the street for us and lining up the floats and the people.

"This year, he gets to ride in the parade and be recognized instead of doing all the work."

Bike contest

A decorated-bike contest, sponsored by Primrose of Reynoldsburg, takes place at 9 a.m., an hour before the parade begins. Children should bring their decorated bikes to the Cooper State Bank parking lot, 6950 East Main St.

"There is no charge to participate and kids should decorate the bikes in red, white and blue," Cochran said. "We will have judges decide who is the winner of a medal and every person who participates will get a ribbon."

He said the children on bikes will then ride behind the police and fire department officers when the parade kicks off at 10 a.m.

The parade begins at Rosehill Road and East Main Street, travels down East Main and turns right onto Haft Drive, then left on Davidson, ending up at Huber Park.

For more information about the parade or to enter a float, email Bobbie Jo Roth at bjroth@wideopenwest.com or call 614-804-8078.

Softball tournament

Brown said the Parks and Recreation Department will present the Ohio Babe Ruth Girls Fast Pitch Softball Tournament, beginning at 3 p.m. July 4 and running through July 6 at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main St.

For more information about the tournament, call Brown at 614-322-6878 or Recreation Superintendent Donna Bauman at 614-322-6879.