Arcadia Fourth of July Parade map

Cities in the Valley are painting themselves red, white and blue in honor of the Fourth of July. There are endless choices of where to celebrate Independence Day, and if you don’t feel like traveling, have no fear, for the Arcadia Fourth of July parade is here. 

The Arcadia parade started back in 1997 when neighbors Bud Kaatz and Johanna Boslin decided to plant American flags in their neighbors’ front yards. 

“They looked around the neighborhood and thought ‘wouldn’t a parade be nice?’” said Kevin Riley, who has been on the parade committee for several years. 

The parade started small, with just a few people donning red, white and blue and walking the neighborhood. From there, it grew to wagons, pets, a color guard, floats, a fire engine, and cars.  

The parade committee is comprised of Riley, Barry Paceley and Emily Whitwell. They are in charge of coordinating the media and the fire department as well as local businesses who participate in the event. 

The parade attracts around 250-300 people a year. 

“We kick off the parade with the National Anthem and even have coverage on local television stations,” said Riley. “Usually Cory McCloskey (FOX 10) shows up, and either April Warnecke or Kim Quintero from Channel 3.” 

The parade route starts at Calle Tuberia and Jokake and heads west for two blocks to 58th Street. From there, the route goes south to Calle del Paisano, to 60th and 62nd Street, and the north back to the starting point. The route is around a square mile.  

There are also awards for Best Pet, Best Float, Most Patriotic and other categories. 

“Sometimes we have families that dress up as something or someone colonial, like the founding fathers or Ben Franklin,” Whitwell said. “The kids always get really creative decorating their bikes!” 

Local businesses also get involved, setting up tables and handing out snacks and drinks.Chick-fil-A hands out lemonade and Pie Snob Bakery brings pies for an after-the-parade pie eating contest. Title Boxing brings out a set of gloves to let kids try their hand at hitting a punching bag.  

“I have always said that Arcadia is a small town in a big city, and that can’t be any truer than at an event like this one,” Whitwell said. “It’s great to see all the neighbors come together and catch up and participate in the parade.”  

Following the parade, there is also a potluck at Calle Tuberia and Jokake where residents supply treats for parade-goers. Then, the Fire Department hooks the engine up to the fire hydrant and provides a shower with the fire hose to keep patrons cool. 

“Everyone anticipates the parade. It’s a high point during the year for the neighborhood,” Riley said. “It really shows Arcadia’s community spirit.”

For more: arcadiaparade.com.