July 4th Parade, Concert Coming to Town

By Duane Harte
Parade Vice Chairman

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

here does the time go? It seems as though it was just last week that the floats, horses, antique autos, bicycles and marchers were proceeding through Newhall and Valencia for the 4th of July Parade. The Santa Clarita Parade Committee is actively preparing for the next 4th of July Parade which, incidentally, will again take place on July 4.
    If you haven't already received your parade application in the mail, you can download one at www.scvparade.com or e-mail me at academymail@earthlink.net and I will see that one is sent to you. The entry fees are $25 for non-commercial and $75 for commercial entries.
    With all that has happened and all that is now happening in the world, it was fairly simple for us to decide on a theme for this year's parade. As the parade proceeds through town, the theme, "Let Freedom Ring," will be celebrated far and wide. The 2003 parade will be a salute to all of the young men and women of our armed forces who have proudly answered their nation's call and are not only protecting our rights and freedoms but those of other nations as well.
    The grand marshal of the parade will be a combination of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, with uniformed representatives from each branch. As they make their way along the parade route, let's stand and show them how much we appreciate what they are doing for us.
    This year portends to be the largest and best-attended parade event the Santa Clarita Valley has ever seen. With the enormous patriotic spirit that has been welling up in this community for the past two years, it is expected that anyone who is not in the parade will be on the street cheering for it.
    My advice is to get there early. Last year's parade was dubbed No. 2 in the nation for participation and attendance, and this year we'd like to be No. 1.
    There will be a slight change in this year's route. As usual the parade will begin at San Fernando Road and 5th Street, adjacent to Hart Park, and will continue down San Fernando Road to Lyons Avenue, where it will turn west, and then north onto Orchard Village Road. This year, instead of stopping at Dalbey Drive, the parade will continue to 16th Street, where it will turn east, ending in back of Placerita Junior High School.
    Also planned for this year will be marshals along the parade route to keep it moving along and to keep the gaps to a minimum. If you or your organization is planning to participate, you can help us by keeping the proper distance with the entry ahead of you.
    The parade will begin promptly at 9:45 a.m. and will be preceded by a 5K run at 9 a.m. The parade committee is also hosting a concert in Newhall Park after the parade, presented by title sponsor Comcast. We're lining up some dynamite bands and there will be food vendors with all sorts of goodies for a wonderful afternoon in the park. At approximately 1 p.m., trophies will be awarded to the entries that our team of expert judges will be voting best in their class.
    Food and merchandise vendors interested in taking part in the post-parade festivities at the park should direct inquiries to info@scvparade.com. Vending opportunities are free for non-profit organizations; a $150 donation is requested of commercial vendors. Various requirements will apply. There are additional sponsorship opportunities available at the same on-line address.
    Well, there you have it. Instead of fighting the traffic on the highways going to "who knows where," join us for a fabulous 4th of July Parade and enjoy the music and food in the park afterward. Cheer for our military personnel and show them that we are proud to have them here.
    Later that evening the city of Santa Clarita is hosting a fireworks spectacular at the Valencia Town Center mall. The fireworks will be shot off from the roof of a parking structure so that they can be seen from almost anywhere in Valencia.
    There isn't much time left. If you haven't mailed in your parade application, do it now. Applications will be accepted only through June 27, to allow time for the committee to make the lineup and write the announcers' script.
    Now get to work on those floats, get your bicycles oiled, and get some fresh wheels on your roller skates. Let's show America what a red, white and blue parade really looks like. See you on Friday, July 4.

    Duane Harte is vice president of the Santa Clarita Parade Committee. For parade information visit www.scvparade.com or send e-mail to info@scvparade.com.

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