Lake Forest 4th of July Parade

On Monday, July 4, 2011, the City of Lake Forest will celebrate 20 years of 4th of July parades with this year’s theme: “Celebrating Independence on Our 20th Birthday.”

“The event has been a success for many years,” said John Irish, a charter parade committee member. “We are proud that despite its longevity, the parade still retains its ‘hometown’ flavor.”

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Toledo Way and Ridge Route and will travel along Lake Forest Boulevard turn on Serrano Rd, ending at Dayton Rd.

Returning parade entries include El Toro High School’s Royal Blue Regiment, Civil Air Patrol, Pacific Coast Corvettes and Hot Rods Unlimited. Also, Spirit of New Orleans, a Mardi Gras-style band, and the Pirates for Hire troupe are back by popular demand.

Highlights will be broadcast near the judging booth at Toledo and Timberland by Cox Communications. Channel 3 will carry the parade locally and also make it available on demand for the entire month. Additional announcers will be stationed at the first turn (Toledo and Lake Forest), near the VIP Grandstands (Lake Forest and Buffwood), and at the final turn (Lake Forest and Serrano).

Last year an estimated 7,000 residents lined the 1.5-mile parade route. More than 100 entries participated, including: marching bands, drill teams, Girl and Boy Scouts, little league champions, senior citizens’ groups, history buffs, car clubs, civic leaders, horses, clowns, fire engines, Sherriff’s teams and military service units.

Community and business volunteers have been an integral part of the parade since it began in 1991 when a 50-year time capsule, featured as a parade entry, was placed in a vault at the Oak Tree Monument in Heritage Hill Historical Park. Keepsakes included a Barbie Doll, action figures, utility bills, homes-for-sale flyers, brochures from local car dealers, restaurant menus, a Toshiba laptop computer, the commemorative inaugural booklet and other memorabilia.

City leaders believe the annual Independence Day parade signifies the importance of embracing the city’s rich, historical past so that future generations may enjoy the same hometown spirit.  By Michael Varma

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