Westerville plans Fourth of July mini 'parade' of city, school vehicles

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
A firefighters colorguard marches during in downtown Westerville during the 2019 Fourth of July parade. There will be no traditional parade this year, but city officials said they are planning a mini 'parade' of city and school district vehicles that will travel through several neighborhoods.

A small parade of vehicles will travel through several Westerville neighborhoods to help residents celebrate Independence Day.

Christa Dickey, Westerville's community affairs director, said 6 to 10 city vehicles, and possibly a school bus, would parade through several neighborhoods on July 4.

"There will be no walking or candy throwing," she said. "We're just taking equipment. It's just celebratory."

Westerville previously announced the city's Fourth of July fireworks exhibition had been canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Westerville joined other central Ohio municipalities in canceling or postponing July 4 events, after organizers of Columbus' Red, White & Boom! announced cancellation of this year's celebration and fireworks display.

Westerville and other central Ohio communities accepted the recommendation of the Central Ohio Mayors and Managers Association and Franklin County Township Association to cancel group activities and fireworks shows.

"The overarching priority guiding our decision is the health and welfare of our residents and communities," said David Collinsworth, Westerville city manager and chairman of the mayors and managers association.

"The COMMA/FCTA partnership's recommendation is similar to how central Ohio communities have worked together for years under MORPC's leadership to manage Beggar's Night recommendations."

Collinsworth said COMMA and FCTA members agreed unified action was preferable, because municipalities and townships that continued with planned activities while others did not would risk drawing larger crowds, with people traveling to watch fireworks and celebrations outside their home communities.

Westerville officials are working with the Rotary Club of Westerville, which produces the Fourth of July events to consider if a celebration later in the year is feasible.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla