Sue Kiesewetter reports
The annual Race for Liberty 5K and a parade will highlight Liberty Township’s July 4 observance of Independence Day.
“It’s very much a family friendly parade. It’s a short route so kids can walk with their family,’’ said Caroline McKinney, the township’s public information officer and economic development director.
“There’s a good mix of community groups, small businesses and residents in the parade.”
Liberty Township will honor the late Chris Worrell and his wife, Stephanie, by having the couple Chirs – in memoriam – serve as grand marshal of the parade. Chris passed away unexpectedly earlier this year.
The morning begins with the 7 a.m. registration for the 8 a.m. race, which begins and ends at Lakota East High School, 6840 Lakota Lane. The 3.1 mile course for the run and walk has been certified by Steve Prescott with Prescott Racing.
Runners and walkers will meet at the stadium, head north around the freshman building, then back south around the Liberty Commons Shopping Center before returning back to the stadium.
Motorists should expect temporary road closures along Wyandot and Yankee Roads between 10-11 a.m.
Water will be available on the course. Fruit and water will be provided at the finish.
Cost of the race is $20 if registered online by July 1 or $25 race day. Register online at www.sprunning.com or mail check made out to Liberty Township Charitable Fund and mail to 5K Run for Liberty, c/o Steve Prescott, P.O. Box 454, Mason, OH 45040.
The top three finishers in each of 10 age divisions in the run will receive awards following the race. The top three walkers in each of five age divisions will also be recognized.
Units for the 27th annual parade will begin forming at 9 a.m., at Lakota East High School. The 1.6 mile parade leaves the high school parking lot at 10 a.m., proceeds down Wyandot Road to Yankee Road, ending at Liberty Park.
Those wishing to participate in the parade can register in advance or sign in at 9 a.m
Emergency vehicles and honor guards will lead the parade followed by the grand marshal, the Lakota East marching band, cars, trucks, motorized vehicles, bicyclists, non-motorized vehicles, walkers and fire trucks.
Trophies will be awarded for the three best float entries at the end of the parade. That’s also when Stephanie Worrell will receive a plaque for serving as grand marshal and the contributions she and Chris have made to the community.
Both Stephanie and Chris were active in the township, with Chris serving on the township’s board of zoning appeals and economic development committee, the West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance and as a board member for the Butler County United Way.
Stephanie served on the board of Wesley Community Service, Butler County United Way Youth Council and Women’s Leadership Council. A cancer survivor, she owns her own business and is the author of “The War in My Rack: How the Gift of Cancer Gave Me Peace.”
There will be no festival or activities following the parade.
For more information and to register for the parade, call 513-759-7500 or visit www.liberty-township.com.