Huntington Beach

A star-spangled parade for everyone

JACK STITZINGER fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his heroism (Orange County Tribune photos).

The theme of the 115th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade was “Sweet Land of Liberty,” and today’s (Thursday) colorful and patriotic promenade certainly had something sweet for everyone.

For the history buffs and those who are just plain grateful for the service of those in the military, there were World War II veterans. For music lovers, there was a rock group on a flatbed truck and an all-star band from the Huntington Beach Union High School District.

LORENZO LAMAS was the celebrity grand marshal.

A PATRIOTIC butterfly rolls down Main Street as part of informal “parade before the parade.”

Animal lovers saw horses, dogs and even parrots. The biggest and most honored float featured the court of the Miss Huntington Beach pageant. Local civic leaders – including Mayor Erik Peterson – were on hand for the procession along Main Street north from downtown toward the Civic Center. Celebrity fans got a glimpse of people like Lorenzo Lamas, the celebrity grand marshal.

Of course, before the actual parade steps off, hundreds of people thronged Main Street on skateboards, bicycles, roller skates, scooters and more, powered by pedaling and towed by eager pooches.

Patriotic – or at least colorful clothing – was the dress code. Flags were employed as capes, shorts, bikinis, hats and more. Families and groups lined the route, enterprising folks sold snacks, sodas and cookies along the way and spectators were two and three deep to watch the moving spectacle.

That was the ground game. Above soared helicopters historic aircraft as well as the Red Arrow acrobatic team from Great Britain, offering a preview of the next big downtown event: the Pacific Air Show set for Oct. 4-6.


Categories: Huntington Beach

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