The Ocean Park Association has announced that the ninthannual Fourthof July parade will once again come to Main Street of Santa Monica on Saturday, July 4, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The parade organizers encourage all local residents, service and family groups, along with businesses, to become participants and/or spectators.

The 1.5-mile route takes participants from the Santa Monica Civic Center south on Main Street, turning west on Marine Street and then north on Barnard Way to Beach Parking Lot 5 South. Spectators are welcome to sit along the route and are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes to the parade route. Jim Lawson, OPA president and parade co-chair shared “On behalf of OPA we are excited to produce this fun community event for the 9th year and look forward to seeing thousands of smiling adults and children as participants and spectators decked out in red, white and blue.”

This year’s theme is “Inspirational Heroes” and the parade’s Grand Marshal is one of Santa Monica’s local athlete heroes, Will Montgomery, Global Messenger for Special Olympics. Montgomery shared, “I’m happy to be the Grand Marshal of the parade and to remind everyone that people with disabilities can do anything!” Montgomery, featured as the parade heralds Santa Monica into the role it will play with the Special Olympic World Games to be held in late July in Los Angeles. Prior to World Games, from July 21-24, the community will be home to about 100 international Special Olympics athletes from Brazil and Romania. The City of Santa Monica is excited for them to experience the cultural, recreational and social activities it has to offer.

Participant forms for the parade may be found at http://www.opa-sm.org/parade and must be submitted by June 25 along with the $25 fee. Groups may walk, ride bikes, scooters, other forms of unique transportation or may ride in a classic car or float. Live or recorded music and animals are allowed pending permission from OPA. In addition to participants, parade organizers are looking for volunteers to help with the event. If interested, volunteers should email july4thsm@gmail.com.

Parking will be available on meters West of Main Street and at the Civic Center surface lot and garage for $3, beginning at 6:30 a.m. Please be aware that there will be bus delays and detours and several streets will be blocked:

Main Street from Colorado to Pico 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Main from Pico to Marine 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Neilson at Marine 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Pico, Bay, Bicknell, Strand Hollister, Ocean Park, Hill, Ashland, Pier and Marine between Fourth and Neilson Way 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

For more information, contact OPA at (323) 521-9672, or go online to www.opa-sm.org.

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