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Get Ready for the Big Island Parade!

parade

Alameda Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade will kick-off at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The 3.3 mile route begins at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue and ends at Webster Street and Lincoln. Those wishing to check out the horses and parade floats before the event can come down to Park Street and Everett Street starting at 8 a.m.

There’s also a five-kilometer race and walk that starts at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Park and Santa Clara Ave. It ends at Webster and Haight Avenue, in front of the judge’s stand.

“The Wells Fargo stagecoach is back this year, which is pretty exciting,” said event chair Barbara Price. “There’s a large horse population in the parade, too.”

The annual event is expected to include over 180 entries and as many as 55,000 spectators. Some 3,000 individuals and animals are participating.

Bay Area native Michael Finney, a longtime consumer reporter with ABC7 News and also KGO-AM 810, will be the grand marshal. Finney, a former Alameda resident, says he has close ties to the Island.

“I have been to the Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade may times with my brother and his family. I think the world of Alameda and was honored that Mayor Marie Gilmore asked me to take on this role,” Finney said.

Participants include a wide range of community and cultural groups, business organizations and more. There also will be plenty of VIPs and others in classic cars, along with groups on bikes, tricycles, stilts and other forms of transportation.

Marching bands and equestrian groups are always a highlight, organizers say. Last year, the Mayor’s Trophy went to the Otaez-El Agavero Charro Association of horseback and trick riders.

Alameda Backyard Growers invites community members to join it and march on the big day.

The gardening group is entry #117 this year. Its members will line up on Lincoln between Park Street and Grand Avenue by 9 a.m.

Marchers are encouraged to bring water, wear comfortable shoes and have sunglasses; sunscreen is highly recommended.

Growers