16th Annual Fourth of July Parade gets ready for an “American Beach Party”

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Now in its sixteenth year, the Fourth of July Parade is one of the largest community events and a neighborhood tradition that helps kick off the summer season. The parade, sponsored by the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, is currently in the planning stages and organizers are now accepting applications from community groups to participate in this year’s event.

“Our theme this year is ‘American Beach Party.’ This theme is a tribute to the fact that we are a beach community and celebrating the birthday of Marina del Rey, which is 50 years old,” said parade committee chair Gwen Vuchsas. “We once again will count on the community’s support to put on this very special event. We encourage anyone who is interested in participating–whether it’s helping create a float, sponsoring or volunteering on the day of the parade–to get involved and be a part of our community’s celebration in honor of America’s birthday.”

The parade will take place on Saturday, July 4 beginning at 11 a.m. along Loyola Boulevard from Manchester Ave. to Loyola Marymount University.

“We hope this year’s theme will bring out the creativity of our community,” said chamber president/CEO Christina Davis. “We are always on the lookout for new and exciting parade entries and continue to encourage our longtime parade participants to build and imagine new floats that capture the spirit of the theme and entertain the crowd. I appreciate groups like Westchester Lutheran and the Emerson Avenue Community Garden who work hard to create outstanding floats and help bring our community parade to the next level.”

The committee caps the number of parade entries at fifty to help keep the parade around an hour and a half and is especially looking for applications from community groups interested in creating a float that includes musical entertainment. Groups applying as marching entries must have fifty or more participants to be considered. A $25 entry fee is collected from all participants and a mandatory participants meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 17 at the chamber office to discuss the floats and the schedule for the day.

Organizers are also looking for a local singer to sing the National Anthem at the event. Singers will be asked to audition at the chamber office on Friday, April 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. and should be comfortable singing in front of a large crowd. Preference will be given to singers who live or attend school in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey and Marina del Rey.

To help raise money for the parade, which costs upwards of $20,000 to put on, a crowdfunding campaign will be launched closer to the event.

“Unfortunately, this year we’ve lost three major donors,” said Davis. “The money we raise pays for the costs of permits, honorariums, insurance, sound and cleanup, and we rely on our generous sponsors to help put on this event. Last year was the first time we reached out to the community for support and we were amazed at the generosity of our neighbors and local businesses. We hope people continue to support this hometown event for years to come.”

Those interested in having an entry in the parade, sponsoring or volunteering are asked to call the chamber office at (310) 645-5151.

Posted April 2015.