A longtime business owner and U.S. Air Force veteran has been selected as grand marshal of the Northland Community Council July Fourth parade.

Dave Cooper, co-owner of The Ink Well with his wife, Chris, will take center stage during the 57th annual parade, scheduled for 11 a.m. July 4.

Cooper, 74, who also is vice president of the Northland Area Business Association, said he was surprised he was selected.

"They put a list together at a meeting," he said. "I wasn't there."

"It's an honor," he quickly added.

Also being honored this year is Alicia Ward, president of the Northland Community Council, which organizes and sponsors the parade.

The theme for this year's march is "Many Faces of Northland: United We Stand."

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at HomeBuys, 1630 Morse Road. Politicians are charged $100 and commercial businesses $125 for participating in the parade, said Cooper, who added there is no fee for nonprofits and individuals.

The parade steps off at 11 a.m. at Morse and Karl roads and proceeds north on Karl to East Dublin-Granville Road, about a 1.7-mile trek.

Cooper said he expects thousands to line the parade route.

Cooper said he's pleased to show his support for the community, as he is involved in Northland Community Council, Northland Alliance, VFW Post 7883, American Legion Young-Budd Post 171 and the Disable American Veterans chapter near Grove City.

He said the money raised goes back into the parade to pay for such items as permits and off-duty police officers.

"It's not cheap to do all of these things," he said.

Dave Paul, chairman of the Northland Community Council development committee, said it is believed that the community's parade is the only "traditional" parade in the city of Columbus on July 4.

"There are a lot of my neighbors who look forward to that, seeing them lining up on Karl Road" to watch the parade, Paul said.