Bexley officially is considering a policy to always hold Independence Day festivities July 4, regardless of which day the holiday falls on, as a matter of consistency.

Bexley City Council president Lori Ann Feibel introduced Resolution 02-20 on Feb. 11, and it was scheduled for a second reading Feb. 25, after ThisWeek's press time. A third reading and council vote tentatively is set for March 10.

"It is the expressed desire of the Mayor, Bexley City Council, and the leadership of the Bexley Celebrations Association to provide for a consistent, reliable and equitable formula for determining the appropriate date on which to host community Fourth of July celebrations," the resolution states.

Feibel and Mayor Ben Kessler said city officials have discussed for several years how best to handle the Independence Day celebration when July 4 falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Until now, they said, the city had an informal practice of shifting Independence Day festivities to July 5 when the holiday fell on a Sunday but keeping the celebration on July 4 when it fell on a Saturday.

In anticipation of July Fourth falling on Saturday this year, city officials held meetings over the past few months with local clergy and the Bexley Celebrations Association, which organizes the city's Independence Day celebration, and came to the solution outlined in Ordinance 02-20, Feibel said.

"We have concluded that while we will be putting some religious groups in an uncomfortable situation of having to choose to celebrate (Independence Day) or to attend worship services, we're making this choice as equitable as possible," Feibel said when she introduced the ordinance Feb. 11.

"We have made all kinds of efforts to have conversations about this. This has been considered for the full six years that I have been on council," she said.

Bexley typically has held a full day of activities to celebrate July Fourth. The schedule has begun with the annual John Barr 5K about 8 a.m. on the holiday, followed by a parade after the race ends. A community celebration featuring live entertainment and games has been held in the evening at Capital University, followed by fireworks at dusk.

Council's March 10 meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

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