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City of Hilliard Changing Independence Day Activities to Align With Regional Recommendation

Posted May 8, 2020 in Recreation & Parks by Mary Smith

In alignment with a joint announcement made by other Central Ohio cities and townships, the City of Hilliard will not hold its traditional Freedom Fest events on Independence Day.

This decision aligns with a joint announcement made Friday by the Central Ohio Mayors and Managers Association and the Franklin County Township Association.

The City will attempt to reschedule its fireworks display for a date later in 2020.

The parade, organized by the Franklin County Agricultural Society, also will not be held July 4.

On Friday, COMMA and FCTA recommended their member agencies cancel or postpone all large-scale, community-sponsored Fourth of July parades, festivals and fireworks displays. Public health considerations tied to COVID-19 are at the forefront of this decision.

The City of Hilliard is developing alternative activities for the community that will allow residents to celebrate and share their patriotic pride while still respecting social distancing guidelines. Details will be announced soon. Residents with creative ideas for such community-wide activities that also respect social distancing can email them to Public@hilliardohio.gov.

In a joint statement, Hilliard City Council President Andy Teater and City Manager Michelle Crandall said this is an unfortunate but necessary decision.

“In so many ways, Independence Day represents the heart and spirit that makes Hilliard an amazing community,” Teater said. “The parade, Freedom Fest concert, and fireworks bring our families, friends, and neighbors together to celebrate not only the American way of life, but the Hilliard way of life.”

“As has happened with so many other things in 2020, July 4 will be different than in the past,” Crandall added. “We will not be able to gather as one community for Freedom Fest and for the parade because the health and safety of our community are more important than a single day’s celebration. We are making these short-term sacrifices because we love our families, our neighbors, our community, and our country.”

The hope is that the Hilliard community will find other safe and creative ways to celebrate with family and friends without the dangers associated with bringing tens of thousands of people to one public gathering. “Hilliard City Council and Hilliard Staff are developing some City-wide activities that will allow us to celebrate our American pride while staying safe,” Teater said. “We remain in this together. Watch for details coming soon!”

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