As many as 5,000 people are expected to help the city of Groveport celebrate the nation's independence with a Fourth of July parade, children's activities, live music and fireworks.
The daylong events begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, with the parade, which starts at the Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road, and continues along Main Street before ending at Glendening Elementary School on Hendron Road.
The 121st Air Refueling Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, located at Rickenbacker International Airport, will serve as this year's grand marshal. Col. Mark Auer, commander, will represent his unit's 1,200 men and women in the parade.
"The unit dedicated a KC-135 Stratotanker, the 'Pride of Groveport,' in honor of the city of Groveport," City Administrator Marsha Hall said. "Mayor (Lance) Westcamp is proud of Groveport's relationship with the 121st, and he hopes that the unit considers the city of Groveport as their 'hometown.' "
The "Pride of Groveport" was dedicated in October 2017 by the 121st, which has supported a number of important missions, including the Korean War, Berlin Crises, Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom following 9/11.
In the festival area along Wirt Road, free children's activities, with food available for purchase, will continue from 1 to 5 p.m.
Musical acts include Randy Goin (1 to 3 p.m.), Gas Pump Jockeys (5 to 7 p.m.) and Agent 99 (7:35 to 9:50 p.m.).
The fireworks begin at dusk, coordinated to music on 88.3 FM radio.
Aside from the festival location, other viewing spots include Groveport Park (recreation center) and Links of Groveport golf course.
The cost of the celebration is paid by the city and donations from area businesses and organizations.
"The cost to the city depends on the number of donations received, and the cost of that year's event," Hall said. "I don't have the total amount for this year at this point, but it is a minor cost compared to the activities offered to the residents."