Planning is underway for this year's Independence Day celebration, which will be held July 4, starting with the John Barr 5K at 8 a.m.

Planning is underway for this year's Independence Day celebration, which will be held July 4, starting with the John Barr 5K at 8 a.m.

Next up will be a parade that begins at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and North Remington Road, crosses Broad and Main streets and arrives at Mound Street.

The celebration culminates with evening entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m. on the front lawn of Capital University at East Main Street and College Avenue.

The Bexley Celebrations Association, which sponsors the Fourth of July activities, continues to seek volunteers and donations to help make the event a success, said Councilman Tim Madison, who oversees the evening festivities.

Several slots are still open among a total of about 30 volunteer positions.

"It's a completely volunteer-run event," said Madison, who also serves as city council president. "It takes a lot of volunteers to make this happen."

In addition, organizers are still seeking funds. The city of Bexley's website stated as of June 14, funds this year were short $8,000 for the event. To donate online, visit bexleycelebrations.org. Donations made payable to the BCA may also be sent to Bexley City Hall at 2242 E. Main St., Bexley, 43209.

Bexley's Independence Day celebration has grown over the years, attracting an estimated 14,000 people last year, Madison said.

He 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.

"We searched for places to have it in Bexley," he said.

The Independence Day celebration now encompasses nearly a full day of activities.

The evening events will again include Music in the Meadow, featuring live music from the Big Rockin' Blues Band and other musicians.

"What we've decided to do this year is give it a local flavor," Madison said. "The Big Rockin' Blues Band will bring up local musicians, mostly high school students."

The evening activities 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, new Capital President Elizabeth Paul and representatives from the Bexley Community Foundation. Fireworks are scheduled to end the day.

The Independence Day celebration is not only a highlight of the summer, but one of the most anticipated events of the year, Madison said.

"It's something the community looks forward to every year. It's something alumni look forward to every year," he said. "And it is, by far, the biggest event in Bexley."

For more information and to volunteer, visit bexleycelebrations.org.