This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Bexley Celebrations Association's Independence Day festivities on Capital University's front lawn at East Main Street and College Avenue.

The celebration will include the fireworks, entertainment and community spirit that residents have come to expect over the past decade, said Tim Madison, one of the event organizers who also serves as president of Bexley City Council.

Madison said the Fourth of July celebration was listed as the biggest annual event in Bexley in the recent community survey conducted by Capital's Public Relations Research class.

"Fifty-four percent of people polled said the Fourth of July is the most important event in Bexley," he said. "That's a big indication of how important it is."

Madison was part of a group that began working in 2008 to move a small community fireworks display from its former location at Wolfe Park in Columbus to Capital's campus in 2009. The event now encompasses nearly a full day of activities and attracts about 14,000 people.

The celebration will kick off with the John Barr 5K at 8 a.m. at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave. The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Maryland Avenue and North Remington Road and cross Broad and Main streets to arrive at Mound Street.

The evening entertainment begins at 6 p.m. Capital's front lawn. Music in the Meadow will feature live music from the Big Rockin' Blues Band. At 8:30 p.m., the band will be joined onstage by local musicians, including several high school and college students.

The evening also will include children's activities and food vendors.

At 8:15 p.m., local resident Ben Heckman will present a historical reenactment of Benjamin Franklin, followed by remarks by Madison, Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler and Capital's provost and vice president of learning, Jody Fournier.

"We have a group of local veterans who will be speaking around 8:30," Madison said.

Fireworks are set for 10 p.m.

The celebration is run by volunteers, including 10 committee members who organize the evening activities.

All the former committee members who have been involved since 2008 have been invited back, Madison said.

The BCA relies on donations to help fund the Independence Day celebration and is selling Fourth of July T-shirts to help cover this year's costs.

For more information and to donate or volunteer for the Independence Day celebration, visit Bexleycelebrations org.

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