Although the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into planning Independence Day festivities across central Ohio, New Albany still will hold an annual Fourth of July parade by bringing it to residents' doorsteps.
Instead of the typical annual parade, this year's version will proceed on a longer route through several neighborhoods.
City spokesman Scott McAfee said the parade would pass by or through 19 subdivisions on a route that is nearly 15.5 miles long.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, at the New Albany Church of the Resurrection, 6300 East Dublin-Granville Road, he said. It will take about three hours from start to finish.
Residents may check the city's Facebook page for live updates on which neighborhoods the parade will visit during the procession, McAfee said.
When communities postponed their July 4 fireworks and festivities, New Albany City Council members wanted to do something else instead, McAfee said.
"We just didn't know what for a while," he said.
The concept of a neighborhood parade stuck, though, McAfee said, and Hans Schell, president of the New Albany Community Events Board, is assisting with event planning.
Although parade participants often throw candy and treats to spectators, that will not occur this year because of the pandemic, Schell said.
The city is asking parade participants to stay in or on their vehicles, he said. Spectators are encouraged to stay in their yards and enjoy the parade from their homes, he said.
This parade will be a scaled-down version of July 4 processions of the past, Schell said. It still will feature police vehicles and fire trucks, tractors, local businesses, some characters and performers and City Council members in golf carts.
In addition, council member Matt Shull said, the city will decorate some of the village center trees and buildings with red, white and blue lights.
The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate with family and friends and connect with the community, Shull said. He said council members decided a reverse parade was a good way to remain in compliance with state guidelines.
"We're trying to do all we can do to celebrate the Fourth in a compliant way," Shull said.