Santa Clarita Valley residents are gearing up for the annual Fourth of July Parade on Thursday in Downtown Newhall, with as much patriotism and pride as always — and now more parking than ever before, too.
The parade, which starts at 9 a.m. sharp, will start by the roundabout in Old Town Newhall, with a route that winds through Main Street, giving the thousands who gather each year to celebrate what organizers tout as “the best small-town big-city parade in the U.S.”
However, due to the event’s popularity, which makes it the largest single gathering of people in the SCV each year, Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Laurene Weste suggested attendees show up at least an hour early, in order to get a prime spot along Main Street.
“We will have our usual, wonderful things — all our high school band and classic cars,” she said, mentioning a few of the many groups who participate, as well as horseback displays, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and, “just a wonderful assortment of everything that makes small-town America great.”
The Zontians are celebrating their 100-year history, as well as The Signal, which is being honored with the lead float, with Signal Publisher Richard Budman as the grand marshal. (The Signal published its 100th-anniversary edition Feb. 19.)
The streets along the parade route, specifically portions of Lyons Avenue and Main Street, begin closing around 7:30 a.m. to accommodate the setup for the events surrounding the parade, which include a 5k run and a pancake breakfast.
The forecast calls for beautiful weather to be outside, with a high of 89 degrees and a light wind. However, regular parade-goers still advise sunscreen, and note that umbrellas or shades are popular for those who like to picnic along the route.
Food and drink are allowed; however, for safety reasons, attendees are asked not to throw anything toward the parade, and those involved in the parade itself are asked not to do the same, including water, silly string or anything else. Dogs should be leashed for the safety of the animals and the parade participants, Weste said.
The biggest and most recently added convenience for attendees will likely be the large city of Santa Clarita parking structure on Main Street.
The Signal will have a special section printed in Thursday’s paper that will have the parade route, lineup and any other pertinent information about the day’s events.
That information is also available on SCVParade.com.