June 21, 2005 > Stars and Stripes Forever
Stars and Stripes Forever
Mission San Jose is preparing for a huge party on the 4th of July to celebrate its heritage and the birth of the United States. This historic village, the genesis of Fremont and the Tri-Cities, is the district that began a now traditional 4th of July parade. "We had the first July 4th parade here in Mission San Jose in 1999 and we're using the same route," remarked co-chair Bob Tavares. After traveling through all historic districts plus Ardenwood, the parade returns this year to its birthplace. The Mission San Jose Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead role and promises an outstanding birthday party.
Fremont's "Stars and Stripes Forever" will begin at 10 a.m. with a parachute jump followed by an aerial flyover by two WWII fighter planes. The Grand Marshal for this year's parade is ABC Channel 7 news reporter Heather Ishimaru. Returning as parade announcer is Kevin Wing of Channel 4.
According to Ray Pulver, parade organizer, there are 78 entries at this time. Nine bands have signed up including the Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Ill. and the Santa Clara Vanguard, two of the top drum and bugle corps in the world. Other musical units include the 130-member San Francisco Renegades Senior Drum and Bugle Corps, American and Mission San Jose High School Bands, and additional community bands. There will be several giant helium balloons, including red, white, and blue stars, an Uncle Sam hat and a Patriotic Birthday Cake.
Fourteen floats (a record) are entered this year from local businesses and community organizations. Other entries include members of the Oakland Raiderettes and Junior Raiderettes dance and drill teams, Marcia's Mop Brigade from Arizona, antique vehicles, and representatives from military and veterans' organizations.
A staging area for the parade will be in the Ohlone College parking lot at Mission Boulevard and Pine Street. The parade will go north on Mission Boulevard, turn west on Washington Boulevard, south on Ellsworth Street and then east on Pine Street.
For easier parking, the public is encouraged to arrive before 9 a.m., when the streets will be closed to traffic. There will be pre-parade activities for children including balloons from StarBound Entertainment of New Castle, Pa.
The Mission San Jose parade committee has raised over $60,000 for the parade this year. The first July 4th parade was held in Mission San Jose in 1999 and has come full circuit after being hosted in Fremont's four other districts and Ardenwood.
Two more planning meetings are scheduled prior to the event. Those interested in assisting are urged to attend. Planning meetings are held at Olive Hyde Gallery, Mission Room (corner of Washington and Mission Boulevards) at 7 p.m. on Thursdays, June 23 and June 30.
Donations to support the parade are always welcome. For more information, please call (510) 651-2582 or visit: www.fremont4thofjulyparade.org.