To generate enthusiasm for the community Fourth of July celebration, the Bexley Celebrations and Events Team is encouraging residents to work together and demonstrate neighborhood spirit with parade floats.

Through a grant provided by the Bexley Community Foundation, four parade applications will be randomly selected to win $250 to cover the costs of building floats.

"We're trying to get groups of neighbors to create floats," said Katie Werkin, the parade chairwoman. "Once we get all the names in, we're going to pick them out of a hat (to receive float grants)."

To be considered a neighborhood float, participants must be a group of residents living in an area and not a business, community organization or school-reunion group. The float entries are eligible to win the "Best Overall Neighborhood Float" award.

"Competition is always a good, healthy thing," Werkin said. "It's just a little incentive to get people to 'up' their floats this year."

The $250 grant is the result of a new Bexley Celebrations and Events Fund the Bexley Community Foundation established this year. In addition to the Fourth of July activities, the fund will support annual community events such as the Main Event, Easter Egg Hunt, Harvest Festival, Bexley Tree Lighting and Menorah Lighting, said Hallie Raskin, the foundation's executive director.

"These events promote community engagement, outreach and celebration, which further the mission of the Bexley Community Foundation to sustain and enhance Bexley as a special place to live, learn, work and play," Raskin said in an email. "We are proud to partner with the city and other organizations on this impactful initiative."

The theme of this year's Fourth of July celebration is "We the People."

In the coming weeks, the Bexley Celebrations and Events Team will announce the Fourth of July parade grand marshal and the Citizen of the Year, who will be recognized during the festivities, Werkin said.

The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m., starting at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Remington Road and proceeding along a 2.8-mile route that ends at Fair Avenue and Cassingham Road.

The evening celebration, featuring family activities, music and food, will begin at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of Capital University, 1 College and Main.

Fireworks will launch at 10 p.m. from the field between College and Pleasant Ridge avenues, and several viewing areas will be available around Capital's Campus Center off of Pleasant Ridge.

The Bexley Celebrations and Events Team is seeking volunteers to help out with these holiday activities.

For more information and to obtain parade applications, go to bexleycelebrations.org. For questions about the parade, email Werkin at bexley parade@gmail.com.

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