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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 85  |  October 23, 2020


Parade Committee cancels 55th Patriots Day Parade scheduled for March 2021

By DIANNE RUSSELL

The Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Committee just announced the cancellation of the 55th Parade scheduled for March 2021. 

“The decision was made due to the coronavirus making it impossible for crowds to gather, as well as school bands not meeting for practice and performance. What is a parade without music?”

The parade will be rescheduled for March 5, 2022.

Although for different reasons, this isn’t the first time the parade has been canceled. Due to rain, the parade was called off in 1985, 2014, and 2019.

Sandi Werthe, Parade Committee treasurer/program chair/entry chair (among other things), says, “This cancellation was the first non-weather-related one in our 55-year history and was a very sad decision for our committee.” 

Parade committee sign

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Beginning of 54th Patriots Day Parade in March 2020

“Our parade was canceled in 1985 because of heavy rain in the early morning, but by parade time, it was sunny and beautiful, and everyone was asking why we canceled. My husband Hal was Parade President, and I can remember school band directors from out of our area calling early that morning saying they couldn’t come because of the rain. 

“We live on TOW and when we drove down the 3rd Street hill toward City Hall, our announcer Bill Gwinn was standing in front of the fire station wondering where the parade was. I had forgotten to call him!”

Sandi adds that those were the days before email – and Bill Gwinn was wearing a suit! 

Started in 1967, the first Patriots Day Parade began during a tumultuous time in the country’s history when many citizens were divided over the Vietnam War. Emily Ross, American Revolution War heroine, decided to start the parade as a way to bring the community together under the banner of patriotism and love for our country. 

Parade committee band

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LBHS band during 54th Patriot’s Day Parade in March 2020

On the first Saturday of each March, a hundred marching units assemble in Laguna Beach to step off in the annual Laguna Beach Parade. For fifty-four years Orange County has enjoyed the parade and its entrants, the celebrities and music, and the community spirit of our city by the sea.

Entries in the popular event range from civic and veterans’ organizations to school bands, floats, vintage automobiles, and light-hearted novelty groups. The parade also honors citizens who have served the community and those who have served the nation in time of war or national emergency.

Earlier this year, the honorees from 2019 rode down the parade route: Grand Marshal Barbara Diamond, Honored Patriot Arnie Silverman, Citizen of the Year Sande St. John, Artist of the Year Roxanna Ward, and Athlete of the Year Jade Howson.

For further information, contact Sandi Werthe at (949) 494-6016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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