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Fourth of July parade set for 9 a.m. this year

Event: Entries being accepted for traditional Independence Day event; deadline is June 19

Posted: May 1, 2010 10:21 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2010 7:00 a.m.
The Santa Clarita Valley’s annual Fourth of July parade steps off promptly at 9 a.m. this year, and participants are invited to sign up now for the long-standing valley tradition that dates back to 1932.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating America’s Independence: Movietown USA,” a salute to the Santa Clarita Valley’s long history as Hollywood’s backlot and sound stage.

Parade organizers decided last year to change the parade start time from 10 a.m. to 9 a.m. and will start the event at 9 a.m. again this year.

“The earlier starting time worked out wonderfully, so we’re doing it again,” said Santa Clarita Parade Committee Chairman Leon Worden. With a 9 a.m. start, “We beat the heat.”

This year the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday, and the parade committee — a collection of volunteers who organize and supervise the event — voted to hold the parade on Independence Day, despite some inconveniences to churches on or near the route.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church is directly on the parade route, but parish Secretary Lenore Benesh said members take it all in stride.

“We can’t have the early Masses — there’s no way they can get in and out,” Benesh said.

With Masses regularly scheduled two times Saturday night and seven times on Sunday, the church will cancel its morning Masses but still have plenty of opportunity for OLPH faithful to attend Mass there or go to another Catholic church in the area.

“Our parishioners are very understanding,” Benesh said. They can enjoy the Rotary Club pancake breakfast, watch the parade and then head to church for Mass, she said. “It’ll make this a fun day for everyone.”

At St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, just across Orchard Village Road from the parade route, parishioners have a back gate that opens onto Avenida Rotella, so no interruptions of the 7:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. services are expected, a spokeswoman said.

The 1932 parade’s theme was “Old Time,” with an “old-time prospector and his family, the Mule Team freight line, cowboys, old-time ranchers and others, along with the newer things that have become a part of our community life,” A.B. “Dad” Thatcher, publisher of The Signal, wrote at the time.

One of those newfangled entries was a brand-new 1932 school bus.

For many the parade is the highlight of an entire day’s activities — including a morning holiday run, a high-carbohydrate breakfast, daytime picnics and other activities, all culminating in a nighttime fireworks show in Valencia.

A decidedly community event, the parade features horses, kids, members of the military and law enforcement, fire trucks, vintage vehicles, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and more.

A grand marshal has yet to be selected, Worden said.

“If anyone has a strong candidate who fits with the ‘Movietown USA’ theme, and the contact info to go with it, look us up,” he said.

The parade committee can be reached via e-mail only at

Those interested in entering the parade should visit, where they will find directions for entering the parade along with entry forms, liability waivers, updates on parade rules and an FAQ.

Also available on the website is a map of the parade route, judging information, contact information and a schedule of other July 4 events.

The deadline for entering the parade is 5 p.m. on June 19.


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