For 47 years, the Half Moon Bay Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Parade has been a institution to celebrate our nation’s independence. The parade attracts impressive crowds of both locals and visitors thanks to the event’s community spirit and small town American charm.
For many, the day begins with a hearty meal courtesy of the local Lion’s Club Pancake fundraiser breakfast that kicks off at 8am in the City Hall parking lot located at 501 Main Street.
At 12pm sharp, the Mardi Gras-inspired procession commences along Main Street, which is lined with spectators young and old. For numerous local residents, the parade is their favorite event of the entire year.
The San Mateo County Sheriffs and CalFire front the convoy that also includes local dignitaries and celebrities, dance groups and theatre troupes, festooned bikes and trikes, classic cars and the American Legion Color Guard. The parade also includes a significant number of horses, honoring the town’s western heritage. And we can’t forget the marching bands, Gourdy the Pumpkin Festival mascot, “Pooches on Parade” and the numerous fanciful floats that make up the hour-long cavalcade. Anyone can participate in the parade by filling out an entry form on the event website.
In 2014, the parade was confronted with a lack of funding despite rising costs. Volunteer support was also waning, all of which put the parade in jeopardy. The Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee, best known for the town’s prominent Pumpkin Festival, came to the rescue. By agreeing to subsidize and organize the town’s home-spun independence parade, the committee secured the event’s continuation as a local tradition. The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival also sponsors the parade in conjunction with the Beautification Committee.
Says co-chair Cameron Palmer of the Beautification Committee, “The Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Parade is a revered, time-honored institution in our community. It’s simply not possible for me to think about the 4th of July without it. Every year locals come out in droves to get a prime viewing spot on Main Street. You can see how everyone appreciates its small town charm and tradition and the Beautification Committee is honored and privileged to help support and sustain it.”
If you’ve never been to this celebration of independence, it is an event you won’t soon forget.
47th Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Parade
Date: Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Time: Parade begins at 12noon, pancake breakfast starts at 8am
Place: Main Street between Filbert and Mill Streets
Admission is free