The Westland Area Business Association Parade serves as a celebration of community, and residents might be in a particularly festive mood this year.

For the past two years, the parade was held along a route that featured Beacon Hill.

"We had to take the parade off of Broad Street while ODOT and Prairie Township completed the streetscape improvement project," said the Rev. Nancy Day-Achauer, president of the Westland Area Business Association. "Now we're back on Broad, and everybody is really excited."

The improvements to Broad Street include the addition of sidewalks, which will make watching the parade more convenient, she said.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24, at Old Village Road and proceed west down Broad Street.

The units then will turn left onto Norton Road and end the march at Norton Middle School.

More than 50 units are expected to participate in the parade, Day-Achauer said.

"We'll have the marching bands from all four high schools in the South-Western school district and tons of youth clubs, scouts and sports teams participating," she said. "A lot of the local businesses will have floats in the parade."

Parade theme

"Celebrating our Broad CommUNITY" is this year's theme.

"We always try to have a theme that plays on the word 'Broad,' " Day-Achauer said. "This year's theme is a celebration of our beautiful new streetscape and the diversity of our community.

"We have a lot of different cultures here on the West Side, with over 20 languages spoken in our schools and a lot of dialects," she said. "We have great unity in our community with our diversity. Our diversity is our strength."

Trophies will be awarded for Best Use of Theme, Best Walking Entry, Best Youth Entry and Best Float.

A parade-entry application is available by sending an email to waba.cols@gmail.com.

The return of the parade to Broad Street also means the return of the 5K Run and Walk, which was not held for the past two years because of the streetscape work.

Pick a race

This year's event is more than just a 5K race -- it's also a "Pick Your Own K" event, Day-Achauer said.

"A lot of people are just getting into fitness," she said. "So we decided to give people an option to run or walk 3K or 1K. The experienced runners can do the 5K route."

The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Lincoln Village Plaza by Old Village Road. The 5K route will head west on Broad Street to Westland High School, then return down West Broad Street.

Registration forms are available at allsportsraces.com/ community-5k.html. The entry fee for the 5K race is $25 and includes a T-shirt and participation medal. The fee for participants who run or walk 1K or 3K routes is $5. Those participants can purchase a race T-shirt.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the WABA's community projects.

The race and parade will be followed by the Prairie Township Fire Department's 68th annual fish fry.

"It's a big day of fun, family-friendly activities," Day-Achauer said. "It's a chance to come outside, socialize with your neighbors and celebrate the revitalization that's happening in our community."

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