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Parade a local Fourth of July tradition

Santa Clarita gears up for its annual parade in Newhall

Posted: June 27, 2008 9:54 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Here's a map of the Fourth of July parade route through Newhall.

 
Gather the family, pack some snacks and put on the sunscreen because the annual Fourth of July parade is ready to roll across the streets of Newhall.

With the theme of "Sights and Sounds of Santa Clarita" and Grand Marshal John Boston, the Independence Day celebration is sure to be a fun and memorable experience.

The details
The parade is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. The celebration will run north along Main Street from 5th Street to Lyons Avenue and will turn west on Lyons and north onto Orchard Village Road. It will end at 16th Street.

Those who want to get a head start on their Fourth of July celebration can join in the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club's pancake breakfast, set to take place at the Roger Dunn Golf parking lot on Main Street between 5th and 6th streets.

After that, the Santa Clarita Runners will host their kids' run at 8:30 a.m. and 5K Run/Walk, which starts a half hour later.

Leon Worden, chairman of the Santa Clarita Parade Committee, is hoping that visitors and judges will hear a lot of music with this year's theme.

"Music always spices up the parade," he said.

The committee, which is made up of roughly 30 volunteers, is expecting somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors to the parade, a typical number for the annual festivities, and 3,000 parade participants from the 80 to 120 entries.

The parade route is about a mile in length.

Attendees can expect to see floats from all types of local organizations, charities and groups. There will also be a series of participants on horseback, including Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar.

With thousands of parade guests expected to line up alongside the Newhall streets, the committee recommends people arrive early.

Plan ahead
Getting to the parade location as early as possible is a good idea because major streets will be closed. While street signs will be available to guide traffic on the Fourth of July, the major streets that will be closed are Main Street in both directions from Pine Street to Lyons Avenue, along with Lyons in both directions from Main to Orchard Village Road, Orchard both directions from Lyons to 16th Street, and 16th Street.

One suggestion is to gather around any of the seven announcer stages to hear what's going on.

"People can crowd around announcer stands anywhere along the route," said Duane Harte, vice chairman of the Parade Committee. "The popular spots are along Orchard Village where there's grass and shade."

As for parking, guests can park their cars whereever they can find a spot. However, one ideal location is in the shopping center located off of Orchard Village Road and Lyons Avenue. Side streets also work.

Much like years past, the weather will most likely hit the 100-degree mark, which means families should plan ahead and bring lots of water, snacks and sunscreen.

The committee will also make water available at booths and tables set up throughout the parade route.
The main hope for this year's parade is to keep the pace, Harte said.

"We always have problems with keeping the pace," he said. "My personal thing would be to see no gaps. That's what I would really like to see."

Ultimately, the committee hopes to create an enjoyable experience for the entire family.

Time for the community
City Councilmember Laurene Weste, who oversees the parade judging, is excited for this year's parade.
"We got John Boston heading it up, which is probably truly one of the most historic figures to head up the parade," she said.

She believes the community truly enjoys the Fourth of July parade and the city-sponsored fireworks display that are set to take place during the evening.

City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said, "This is a great time for the community to come out and celebrate all that is fantastic about Santa Clarita."

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