There is not much the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has not turned upside down this year, including traditional Fourth of July parades and firework shows, which Hilliard canceled May 8.
But the city is planning alternative ways to celebrate this summer.
“We will still find ways in our community to celebrate July 4 with family and friends,” Hilliard City Manager Michelle Crandall said.
They include the Red, White and Blue Express that will pass through Hilliard neighborhoods on the days leading up to July 4, said Anna Subler, communications administrator for Hilliard.
“The Express will be a patriotic pop-up parade coming to Hilliard neighborhoods each night from June 29 to July 2,” Subler said.
The Express will include vehicles from the Hilliard Division of Police, the Norwich Township Fire Department and the city of Hilliard.
Each day, the city will livestream the GPS location of the Express parades on the city’s Facebook page, Subler said.
The city also will offer other Independence Day activities.
The winner of a chalk-art competition will be named July 4 after members of the Hilliard Public Arts Commission and city staff judge patriotic chalk art.
Contestants must register on the city’s Rec Trac program and email a photo of the artwork to email@example.com. Entries must be received by noon June 30.
A similar contest calls for residents to decorate front porches and windows and email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Artwork must be complete by noon July 1.
Families must register on Rec Trac, and businesses must call Angela Zody at 614-334-1342.
First-place prizes in each category will be awarded.
A neighborhood grand prize for showing the most combined patriotism will receive a visit from Graeter’s Ice Cream on July 6, Subler said.
“We’ve worked to create a few opportunities for our community to celebrate at a time when we cannot safely hold large public gatherings,” Crandall said.