Hilliard will celebrate Independence Day with a two-day carnival and fireworks at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive.

"We have great crowds every year and (our patrons) can expect the best fireworks show in central Ohio," said Steve Mazer, director of Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department.

Rides, food trucks and games will be at the park from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday, July 3, and noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 4.

The Fourth of July parade will begin at 10 a.m. July 4, departing from the Franklin County Fairgrounds entrance at Avery Road and Main Street.

The route will proceed southeast on Norwich Street, west on Cemetery Road and Scioto Darby Road and conclude at Memorial Middle School, 5600 Scioto Darby Road.

The grand marshal will be Jerry Baum, who has served as a parade marshal, organizing entrants and selecting grand marshals, for the past 56 years. He has led the Hilliard Optimist Club for an equal period of time.

Baum, 79, said he inherited the job more than a half century ago when he was in his 20s and accepted a request from a business operator named Charlie Parker to help him organize the parade.

"Hilliard's business-owners association was in charge of the parade. I said, 'OK, sure,' but Charlie left town on July 3," Baum said.

Since then, Baum, a Hilliard High School graduate, has kept making sure Hilliard's parade is in step every year.

"I was kind of blown back when the fair managers (Norwich Township trustee Chuck Buck and retired police chief Rod Garnett) told me, but I'll like doing it," Baum said.

In preparation for the city's fireworks display, Veterans Memorial Drive at Scioto Darby Road will close at 5 p.m. July 4.

A shuttle will take people to and from the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center, which will maintain normal hours of operation July 4.

Lt. Dan's New Legs will perform beginning at 6 p.m. at the amphitheater at Municipal Park.

The fireworks display will begin at dusk, Mazer said.

The rain date is Wednesday, July 5.

For the latest information about scheduled activities, visit www.hilliardohio.gov.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo