The LAX Coastal Parade Committee announced this week that for the first time in 20 years, the Westchester Fourth of July Parade that travels down Loyola Blvd. has been canceled.
“We waited as long as we could to see if a parade would be possible this year, but due to the pandemic, there is no way we could hold this event with social distancing,” said LAX Coastal President/CEO Christina Davis. “Our first goal is to keep everyone safe, so we had to make some hard decisions. We know how important this celebration is to our community, and we know people look forward to it every year.”
What started as a small one-time event to celebrate the millennium has now become an important part of the fabric of the neighborhood and a yearly tradition that draws thousands of spectators to the nearly mile-long route. It has been featured in local and national press and even received international recognition when a documentary team from Ireland visited to film the event. The parade is organized and hosted by the LAX Coastal Chamber and a parade committee led by local residents and business leaders.
While the parade is not happening this July, the committee is working to make sure the spirit of the day is still evident in Westchester.
“We have a very special community,” said Davis. “We always come together for the common good and to get things done. Last year’s theme was ‘Better Together,’ and echoing on those sentiments we’ve changed this year’s to ‘We’re all in this together.’ During these unprecedented times, with so much uncertainty, it’s important that we are united, support each other and uplift everyone.”
With that in mind, the parade committee is starting a new tradition and is calling on the residents of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista to bring the community spirit that is evident along the parade route to their front yards to participate in the inaugural Fourth of July Home Decorating Contest.
“So many people in the neighborhood are spectators at the parade, design floats or participate in the entries,” said Davis. “We ask that people take that same enthusiasm to their homes and to their blocks to make some really fantastic displays or decorations for their neighbors to enjoy.”
Those interested in participating are encouraged to decorate their homes by Friday, June 26 and upload their photos to Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #laxcoastalonparade and tag @laxcoastal. You can also email a photo of your decorated home to firstname.lastname@example.org. The committee and parade sponsors will judge all entries. The winning home and family will receive a prize, bragging rights and have the chance to be featured on the cover of the HomeTown News’ annual Fourth of July edition.
Other festivities include banners being displayed throughout the community, plans for a pop-up art display and other surprises that will be announced on the chamber’s website once they are confirmed. The pylons at LAX will also be lit red, white and blue from July 1 through July 5 in honor of Independence Day and to show support for the community’s celebration.
“This year looks a lot different, but the importance of community and coming together is more important than ever,” said Davis. “While a lot of community’s are canceling their events, we think this is a good way to pivot and still bring joy and unity when it’s needed the most. We hope the community joins us in making this special, especially for the kids in the neighborhood.”
About the Home Decorating Contest
The LAX Coastal Parade Committee invites you to support this new tradition by decorating your home, school or business in the spirit of the parade for your neighbors, block and community to enjoy.
Those interested in participating should have their homes decorated by Friday, June 26, and upload their photos to Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #laxcoastalonparade and tag the @laxcoastalchamber. You can also email a photo of your decorated home, business or school to email@example.com. With your email, please include a theme or name for your entry and feel free to include a write-up about your design.
- All decorations must be visible to the street
- Photos must be emailed or submitted to the LAX Coastal Chamber’s Facebook or Instagram page using #laxcoastalonparade
- The Parade Committee and Sponsors will be the judges to decide the winning house
- One address per entry, up to 3 photos per entry
The winning home and family will receive a $100 gift card , bragging rights, serve as a judge for next year’s contest and have the chance to be featured on the cover of the HomeTown News’ annual Fourth of July edition.
Other festivities the Chamber currently has planned include:
- Patriotic Banners displayed on Sepulveda Blvd. Courtesy of Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation
- Red, white and blue pylons at LAX
- Support Local campaign with 4th of July specials to help encourage patronage of our small businesses
- Flags down Loyola Blvd.
- HomeTown News Fourth of July Edition
- Community Banners in Key Locations
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship and partnership opportunities!
Posted June 2020.
Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.