Westland area residents will kick off the Fourth of July weekend with a parade and party.

Westland area residents will kick off the Fourth of July weekend with a parade and party.

WABA (Westland Area Business Association) will hold its annual parade and after-party beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 2. This year's theme is "Reflect, Renew, Restore: Strengthening Our Westland Community."

WABA board member Rachelle Parsley said the theme was chosen because the Westland area is poised to be revamped.

"The theme was chosen because of the recent interest in revitalizing the West Side of Columbus," Parsley said. "This part of town was chosen for the site of the casino and we are excited about some of the proposed plans and what this could mean for the entire community."

The parade is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the juncture of West Broad Street and Westwoods Boulevard, she said, ending at Lincoln Village Plaza. Westland High School principal Kathy Buckerfield has been chosen to be the grand marshal in recognition of her retirement and her contributions to the community.

The parade will feature all four South-Western high school marching bands, Prairie Township Fire Department, Westland High School AFJROTC, local businesses, churches, and various political figures, she said.

Parsley said for the first time, the after-party will not be held at Lincoln Village Plaza. It will be held this year at Westland High School.

"There will be a carnival with rides this year as well as two bands, concessions and a raffle," Parsley said. "We changed the location to allow for the carnival to be bigger.

"WABA puts this on every year for the community and we want them to come and be a part of it."

Parsley encourages families to come out and join the celebration, because there will be more to do than ever before.

"I think there will be more to do to keep everyone entertained, not just the little ones," Parsley said. "There will be food, music, rides, games - something for the community to come together, to enjoy together and most importantly to celebrate our freedom and independence."