MAIN STREET ‚Äî The seventh annual 4th of July Parade is coming to Main Street Thursday morning, and officials have some advice and insight for the patriotic festivities.
The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. and travel down Main Street from its start at Pico Boulevard and turn onto Marine Street. From there, it will turn onto Barnard Way and disperse into the southern beach parking lot, said Lori Nafshun, vice president for special events with the Ocean Park Association, which organizes the parade.
Parade attendees looking for a quieter, less crowded spot to watch the parade can go to Barnard Way, Nafshun said.
She suggested that residents walk or ride their bikes to the parade rather than drive to make it an environmentally friendly parade. Several streets in the area will also be closed off to cars, so traffic will be difficult for those who choose to drive, Nafshun added.
If residents still wish to drive, parking will be available west of Main Street, at the Civic Center for $3 and at Santa Monica Place.
A shuttle bus that will transport parade participants back to the Civic Center from the end of the parade will also be open to the public, Nafshun said.
Instead of having one big parade after-party, which Nafshun said has caused logistical difficulties in the past, there will be after-parties at 220 Fitness, Lula Patio, The Vic and Edgemar Courtyard.
This year, the parade theme is centered around heroes ‚Äî both heroes in uniform, such as the parade‚Äôs grand marshal, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, and everyday heroes in the community, Nafshun said.
The parade will feature the classic list of parade guests such as the city‚Äôs police officers, firefighters and lifeguards. Following will be a jumbled cast of characters, including bands The Americans and Euclidean, mariachi performers and a group of Ocean Park residents who will present an interpretation of the running of the grunion, Nafshun said.
Parade organizers are still looking for volunteers to help with the event. Those interested in volunteering can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.