OCEANSIDE — The Independence Day Parade will march down Coast Highway 101 Saturday. This year there will be a record number of entries in the parade.
“It celebrates the nation’s birthday,” Cathy Nykiel, parade committee volunteer, said. “It’s been held for 120 years. It’s a true red, white and blue parade. We hand out flags to parade guests.”
The parade begins at 10 a.m. and runs until noon.
The parade route is along Coast Highway 101 from Wisconsin Avenue to Pier View Way. A mile of Coast Highway 101 will be closed between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the event.
This year the Girl Scouts of Oceanside, who are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, will lead the parade, followed by the 1 st Marine Division Band.
Parade grand marshals are Oscar Culp and George Mitchelle.
Spectators can expect to see military groups, city officials, pageant queens and baton twirlers.
Also participating are crowd favorites Goldie the Clown, the Oceanside High School Band and Color Guards, the Pearl Harbor Survivors, the Al Bahr Tin Lizzie Parade Unit, the El Camino Marching Band and the Camp Pendleton Mechanized Museum.
The Camp Pendleton Mechanized Museum provides 20 courtesy vechicles to military veteran groups riding in the parade.
S & R Towing also helps out by providing flatbed trucks and drivers for several parade participants.
“Oceanside is so diverse,” Nykiel said. “A lot of different groups participate every year.”
New this year will be the Escondido Mounted Posse and North County African American Women’s Association.
The parade will finish with a vintage fire engine driven by the Oceanside Fire Fighters Association.
Spectators are asked to show their patriotism and dress in our nation’s colors.
“Spectators need to come prepared to watch in proper attire of red, white and blue,” Nykiel said. “Bring a flag and a comfy lawn chair.”
Sunscreen and a good hat are also recommended.
The Independence Day Parade is run by a volunteer parade committee and sponsored by MainStreet Oceanside. The committee raised $15,000 to fund parade operations and cover costs to televise the parade on KOCT Community Television. Mossy Nissan is one of many generous donors to the parade.
More parade information is online at oceansideparade.com.