LAGUNA BEACH : Elvis Wannabes Beware: Line Forms Now for Patriots Day

When they talk about the Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade, residents boast that half the city's residents turn out to watch the procession, and the other half are in it.

With that in mind, organizers recommend applying early to participate in the 1996 event.

Among the more memorable features of the parade this year were a salute to Elvis Presley and marching real estate agents dressed as houses. Next year's festivities, set for March 2, will offer just as diverse a program, organizers say.

"I happen to know the PTA presidents and the PTA council presidents will be dressing up as past prom queens, with elbow-length gloves and tiaras," Keiko Beatie said.

Sandy Thornton, co-president of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, added that participants from beyond the city limits are also welcome. "It's not going to be just a Laguna thing," she said Friday. "We want other cities, we want their bands, we want their horses."

The six parade categories are bands, marching groups, floats, equestrians, autos and novelty. This year's tribute to Elvis, which featured men in sunglasses who leaped from their Cadillac convertible periodically to dance in the streets, was an example of the novelty category, Beatie said.

The theme of this year's parade is "America's Volunteers."

Applications are available at the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce office, 357 Glenneyre. They must be returned by Jan. 15 to the Patriots Day Parade Assn., P.O. Box 5147, Laguna Beach, 92652.

Information: (714) 494-1018, Ext. 5.

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