With Independence Day just a month away, it's not too early to ready you for a big change taking place this year.

With Independence Day just a month away, it's not too early to ready you for a big change taking place this year.

While many of the sponsor-organization Rotary Club of Westerville's traditions will go as planned, the construction on South State Street at Schrock Road necessitates special precautions and a change in the parade route to help ensure the public's safety.

The city is working closely with Rotary members to minimize any disruption so that "Fireworks, Friends and Freedom" (the theme for 2016) goes off with its traditional success and fanfare.

This year, the parade will stage at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 313 N. State St., and travel north to south. The parade will proceed south through Uptown Westerville, ending at Electric Avenue. North State Street (from County Line to Old County Line) will be closed early for staging. Vehicles dropping-off participants should enter via Thompson Avenue from County Line Road.

All floats, vehicles and parade participants should arrive at St. Paul's and be registered by noon. The parade starts at 1 p.m. sharp. At the conclusion of the parade, floats and vehicles will be allowed to disperse beginning at Electric Avenue. Parade participants (including bands, performers and others) are encouraged to take the bike path to Westerville South High School for pick-up, with all others able to disperse proceeding south on State Street.

The newest 4th of July tradition featuring food, music and fun will continue at Westerville South. Food trucks and carts will be on-site from 5 to 11 p.m., with the Westerville Symphony starting a selection of patriotic music at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m., country rock band McGuffey Lane returns for a second-year performance.

All activities are free, and residents and visitors are invited to bring blankets and chairs to stay for the fireworks. Please note posted parking restrictions in the area around the school for emergency vehicle and neighborhood access. In addition to parking available on and around the South High and Blendon Middle school properties, off-site parking will be available just a short walk away at Whittier Elementary School and the city building at 64 E. Walnut.

At dusk (approximately 10 p.m., but weather dependent), the annual fireworks display will be set off from Alum Creek South.

There are no planned restrictions for those who prefer to watch the fireworks from Westerville Square or the Kroger (Schrock Road) parking lot. However, some construction zone areas will be fenced off and patrols will be enforcing compliance for the public's safety. Park Meadow Road will also be closed to traffic.

This route is a bit shorter, and we appreciate the community's cooperation as we work through this one-year adjustment. Along with our friends at Rotary, we're working hard to get the word out about the change for the parade route. Please share the details with your friends and family, and watch the city website, westerville.org, for updates and resources, including a map of event details.

On July 4, you can follow the city account on Twitter (@tellwesterville) for news, information and updates.

The city and Rotary Club of Westerville look forward to celebrating with you another spectacular Independence Day in Westerville.

Let's remember the meaning of the occasion, honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom and be safe.

City notes is provided to ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion by the city of Westerville. David Collinsworth is the Westerville city manager.