While thousands of community members attend or march in Westchester’s annual Fourth of July Parade, the parade committee, made up of volunteers from the LAX Coastal Chamber, are always looking for ways to get more people involved and participating.
“We are proud to throw the community’s largest event, which is really like a big neighborhood block party,” said Christina Davis, President and CEO of the chamber. “It’s important to us to continue this tradition and give people numerous opportunities to engage, whether its volunteering the day of the event, walking down the parade route with their school or sports team or through sponsorships. The more opportunities we have for people to be involved, the better. We want the community to know that this is their parade.”
In the past few years, the parade has tried to be more interactive with attendees by offering them a chance to support the parade through crowd funding to get t-shirts, stickers and other parade perks. A photo contest started two years ago also encourages those along the parade route to participate in the fun by submitting their favorite photos from the event–whether its of an outstanding float or a patriotic crowd member–for a chance to win a gift card to a local restaurant.
Now celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, the committee has decided to invite the community to help choose the theme for the parade.
“We’ve had some really great parade themes over the years from last year’s ‘American Beach Party,’ to ‘America through the Decades’ or ‘America’s Favorite Pastimes.’ The theme is really important to the parade participants in helping shape their ideas for their floats and costumes,” said parade chair Gwen Vuchsas. “We know everything is going to be red, white and blue and patriotic, but the theme really helps set the tone for the parade, as well as our participant’s enthusiasm for the event. You can tell when our entries really love a theme because it shows in their work and their excitement when they go down the parade route.”
The parade committee is holding a contest to select this year’s parade theme and is asking people interested in submitting a suggestion to email the parade committee at Laxcoastalonparade@gmail.com by Friday, January 29 with their contact info, parade theme and a short paragraph explaining the theme. The parade committee will then review all submissions and the winner will receive a prize basket with parade swag and a restaurant gift card, as well as the opportunity for a family of four to ride on a fire truck (conditions apply) in the 2016 Fourth of July parade, taking place on Monday, July 4.
“We are excited to see what the community comes up with for this year’s celebration,” said Davis. “We hope everyone puts on their creative hats to make this a parade to remember.”
For more information or questions, please call (310) 645-5151.
Pictured above: A float makes its way down Loyola Blvd. in last year’s parade. Photo by Glenn Marzano.