The theme "We the People," chosen for Bexley's 2018 Fourth of July celebration, not only refers to patriotism but the sense of community that the event promotes, organizers said.
"The Fourth of July is such an amazing day in Bexley," said Bexley City Council President Lori Ann Feibel, who is also a member of the Bexley Celebrations and Events Team that presents the city's holiday activities.
"The gatherings curbside for the parade, the alumni reconnecting on their floats, the neighbors mingling on Capital's lawn are all evidence to me that we the people of Bexley are most excited about being together on the Fourth of July," Feibel said.
The day's events will kick off at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, with the John Barr 5K Run at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave. The route will take runners through north Bexley, returning to Jeffrey Mansion for the finish line.
The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. starting at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Remington Road and proceed along a 2.8-mile route ending at Fair Avenue and Cassingham Road.
This year's parade grand marshal is Saul Laub, a longtime Bexley resident and military veteran who has served as a Fourth of July volunteer for many years, said Katie Werkin, the parade chairwoman.
Laub will be accompanied by 11 other Jewish military veterans along the parade route.
"Saul is always the first person to sign up. He loves being in the parade," Werkin said. "We're here to celebrate our troops and those that are fighting for us, and we thought what better way to honor someone who loves the parade and has fought for us."
The parade will emphasize neighborhood floats this year, Werkin said, with prizes awarded in the categories of Best Neighborhood entry, Overall Best of Parade, Best Class Reunion, Best Youth Group and the float that best represents the "We the People" theme.
The evening will feature family activities, music and food, starting 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 Avenue.
The Fourth of July festivities showcase Bexley's community pride, Werkin said. The celebration was one of the first community events she and her husband, Jacob, discovered when they moved to Bexley from Columbus, Georgia, four years ago, she said, and they look forward to volunteering and attending each year with their young son, Harvey.
"It shows how we are a community who loves to come together and do things together," Werkin said. "It's a family event that everybody from grandmas to 'kiddos' love. It's a great event that the whole family can enjoy."
For more information about Fourth of July activities, registering for the John Barr 5K Run and signing up to volunteer, visit bexleycelebrations.org.