By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Palisadians gathered for the 73rd annual Fourth of July parade, a beloved community tradition that was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Thousands rallied along Via De La Paz, Sunset Boulevard and Toyopa Drive for the bevy of festivities, presented by Palisades Americanism Parade Association with a theme of “The Sparkle Returns!”
The parade, headed by Grand Marshal Eugene Levy, honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades, and Co-Parade Marshals Mike Martini and Joe Halper, featured a number of local organizations and familiar faces from around town.
The girls and boys of Troop 223 waved hello from three different boats turned into floats, followed by families of the Parish of Saint Matthew and Palisades Lutheran Church, Pacific Palisades Rotary Club, LAFD Station 69 and plenty more. Parties and parade observers cheered as they passed by.
“It’s great to be back out here, it was so weird to miss last year,” Deann Healy, Palisades resident of 25 years, said to the Palisadian-Post. “This is the Palisades, it really is.”
Local environmental organization Resilient Palisades made its debut and marched for the first time since being founded only a year ago. The team shared messages of plant-based solutions, zero waste, building the Pali micro-grid and more.
“Resilient Palisades was honored to participate in our first Fourth of July parade,” Co-Founder Ryan Craig said to the Post. “By portraying the three different Palisades ecosystems on our float—mountains, bluffs and ocean—we aimed to remind Palisadians that July 4th is a day to be grateful not only for America, but also for our incredible, precious environment. With the level of community support and excitement we all experienced, Resilient Palisades is looking forward to ‘greening’ our parade next year and in the years to come.”
Craig said the float was galvanized by Resilient Palisades member Janice Crystal, designed by Amanda Iyana Michaels, Valeria Serna, Susie Fitzgerald, Aleksandar Pavlović and Susan Fairbain, covered with signs lettered by Sara Marti, and engineered by Lou Kamer.
“As I marched alongside people I’ve worked with over these past many months, I felt part of a collective of locals who are not only lucky enough to live on a beautiful sliver of California coastline, but who kindly and with great heart give their time and energy to protect it,” Resilient Palisades photographer and member Amanda Iyana Michaels shared. “These are people who lead with compassion. These are my people.”
Other parade highlights included music from the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band, The Palisades Oom PaPa Band and the Pasadena Scots.
Community members shared some of their favorite moments with the Post, including Paws ’N Claws’ Patriotic Pups of Pacific Palisades 26th annual march in the parade and the yogurt shoppe’s decade-long tradition of sponsoring “Kids on Bikes,” where participants were encouraged to decorate their bikes and ride in the parade.
According to PAPA, skydivers did not kick off this year’s parade like they were scheduled to do because the plane they were going to use had to make an emergency landing at Fullerton Airport after an engine failure on its way to Santa Monica Airport.
“Thankfully, he was only two miles east of Fullerton Airport … and was able to glide in safely,” a PAPA representative explained. “We are all disappointed but glad pilot Rich Picarelli is safe and that the Freefall Sangria skydiving team, led by Tom [Falzone], is even more committed to 2022.”
A scheduled flyover of World War II fighter planes by the Condor Squadron also did not appear due to flight restrictions, according to pilot Eric Zine.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.