Make America Great Again march Saturday at Bolsa Chica won't focus on Trump, organizer says

Thousands of people are expected to attend a Make America Great Again march on Saturday at Bolsa Chica State Beach to support veterans, police and first responders.

The event is slated to run from noon to 3 p.m. and is one of about 40 affiliated events scheduled nationwide that day.

Despite the expected heavy foot traffic, all parts of the beach will remain open, senior park aide Mark Riddlebarger said. He said the organizers have a permit.

Jennifer Sterling, a Laguna Beach resident and one of the organizers of the march, said Friday that about 3,000 people are expected to attend.

Though the march bears Donald Trump's campaign slogan, and organizers elsewhere are making their support for the president quite clear, Sterling said the local gathering will have a different focus. Participants will be wearing blue ribbons to support law enforcement and donations will be collected for veterans, she said.

"We want to wave our American flag and be patriotic," Sterling said.

The march was originally going to be near the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, but fairgrounds officials announced earlier in the month that they would close the property on Saturday and Sunday in anticipation of the event because of public safety concerns.

A Trump rally held April 28 outside the Pacific Amphitheatre — where the then-candidate had been speaking — resulted in violence that spilled onto the streets. People could be seen jumping on the hood of a police car.

The amphitheater is on the fairgrounds.

Sterling said organizers are expecting a contingent of counterprotesters but will do their best to avoid confrontation. She said the march will be family-friendly.

California State Parks Capt. Kevin Pearsall said his department will have about three dozen officers monitoring the march, and will collaborate with Huntington Beach police in case it spills from the beach to the surrounding area.

Pearsall said his department is aware of social media exchanges that hint at possible clashes between marchers and counterprotesters.

Huntington Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Marlatt confirmed that officers will provide support if a conflict arises.

benjamin.brazil@latimes.com

Twitter: @benbrazilpilot

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