A year after Upper Arlington celebrated its 100th birthday, the organization that puts together the community's July Fourth celebration is ready to look to the future.
During an April 17 float-builders' workshop, the Upper Arlington Civic Association announced the theme for the 2019 July 4 parade will be "The Best is Yet to Come."
In addition, general chairs Jim and Annie Stair announced that Upper Arlington Schools Superintendent Paul Imhoff will serve as this year's parade grand marshal.
"Last year's theme was 'A Cherished Past, A Golden Future,' and it was really a reflection on the past 100 years," Annie Stair said. "In looking at the theme for this year, it was challenging to take this on after the success of last year.
"Our thought was 'The Best is Yet to Come' because we looked at all the renovations coming to our schools and changes coming in the community. We see this as a very exciting time for our community with the growth that's happening, the innovations in our schools and the resources we have in our parks and business community."
Imhoff said he is "honored" to serve as grand marshal of the parade and his family is looking forward to the experience.
"The Fourth of July is such an important day in Upper Arlington -- we feel really lucky to be part of this great tradition in this amazing community as we pause to honor our country and celebrate our freedom," he said.
Stair said the UACA already has 12 entries for floats for this year's parade, and that number is expected to grow.
"We anticipate a big parade this year," she said.
Imhoff has served as schools superintendent since July 2013.
Stair said she and other UACA July Fourth organizers were impressed with Imhoff's commitment to students and the community, as evidenced by his work to shape a strategic plan for the district and to promote a levy and bond issue that passed in November 2017. Funds from the levy and bond are providing $230 million for reconstructions and renovations at Upper Arlington High School and the district's five elementary buildings.
"He has worked tirelessly in the last couple years with the reinvention of the strategic plan for the school district," Stair said. "He really focused on a results-oriented plan with reachable goals.
"The efforts he put into that were truly amazing, and in 2018, he was the Ohio Superintendent of the Year, which is a huge honor."
Stair said Upper Arlington High School senior Kate Glaser will sing the national anthem at this year's Party in the Park, and the overall top float will again receive the UA Cup.
More information about this year's parade and Party in the Park is available at uaca.org, she said, including information about entering floats and reserving tables for Party in the Park.
"Reservations for Party in the Park tables and wake-up calls will open June 1," Stair said. "They can sign up for those two items on the website.
"We're bringing back (music group) Conspiracy for Party in the Park, and there will be food trucks and other entertainment. We're looking forward to a great year."