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Santa Monica’s Independence Day Parade Gets a Hand from City Hall
By Niki Cervantes
May 25, 2017 -- The July 4 Main Street Parade in Santa Monica -- usually an all-volunteer production that has been growing larger every year -- will get some paid professional help this summer.
On Tuesday, the City Council voted to allocate $2,000 in discretionary funds to the Ocean Park Association to hire a professional coordinator, as well as set aside $5,895 in City expenses related to the parade.
The coordinator would assist with the organizing and staging of the popular event, which turns 11 years old this year.
This summer’s parade starts at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Pico and Main Street, marching south toward Marine Avenue as it makes its way 1.3 miles to the beach.
The OPA is already looking for volunteers. Those interested can apply at www.santamonicaparade.com. Organizers start accepting applications June 2.
Volunteers are needed to set up and help during the parade. Special volunteers on bikes are requested.
All setup shifts will need to arrive at or before 7:30 a.m. and all parade-route volunteers will need to arrive at or before 9 a.m., organizers said.
They said coffee, water and snacks will be on hand, as well as additional materials needed for those who want to pitch in.
Although the parade has grown over the last few years -- last year’s crowd was estimated at 15,000 people -- organizers say it will retain the old-fashioned (although kind of zany) home town ambience that has made it popular.
Decked out in red, white and blue, some 1,500 participants walk or ride in the parade every year.
Organizers are happy to see “funky” among its participants, its website says.
The parades typically feature a wide variety of local participants, such as girl and boy scouts, local bands, service organizations like the Kiwanis, marching bands and politicians.
Last year’s VIPs included Congressman Ted Lieu, State Senator Ben Allen, Assembly member Richard Bloom, then-Mayor Tony Vazquez (now a council member) and former mayors and city council members.
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