Huntington Beach's annual Fourth of July parade on Monday is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people and will commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, officials said.
Pat Stier, director of the parade, said 343 marchers — some of whom are from New York and were on duty during the attack at the World Trade Center that killed nearly 3,000 people — will carry American flags down the three-mile-long route.
"They are traveling here on their own expense to participate in our parade and to remember their lost colleagues," Stier said. "We welcome them."
World War II veterans will also participate in the event, which will be opened by a Navy flyover of F-18 planes.
Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are expected to attend the 112th annual parade, which goes from 10 a.m. to noon and opens at Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street and ends near Yorktown Avenue and Main Street.
The parade will include a variety of entertainment from high school bands to celebrities.
Disney's Mickey and Minnie Mouse will serve as the co-grand marshals and will be joined by 2015-2016 Disneyland Resort Ambassador Allie Kawamoto riding in an authentic horse-pulled carriage.
Other celebrities in the parade include actress Hadley Belle Miller, former Huntington Beach resident and NFL player Tony Parrish, radio personality Tim Conway Jr., Olympic swimmer Shirley Babashoff, disabled athlete Jami Goldman-Marseilles and radio personality "Shotgun" Tom Kelly.
Recently retired City Clerk Joan Flynn will serve as the community grand marshal.
There will also be more than 15 floats, Stier said.
"This year, our lineup is the biggest ever," she said. "We have a long parade and we want to showcase everyone so we hope we can keep it moving for everyone to enjoy."
Because of the large crowds, Stier said early arrival is recommended for parking. She also said walking or riding bikes are good options.
Staking out spots is permitted 24 hours before the event.
Following the parade, there will be a slew of events in downtown Huntington Beach, including live bands and vendors. A fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m.
Some streets will be closed to accommodate traffic and the parade. For a list of street closures and more information, visit hb4thofjuly.org.
Brittany Woolsey, firstname.lastname@example.org