On the Town: City is getting ready to go 'on Parade'

Putting on an event of the magnitude of Burbank on Parade is an expensive endeavor, and sponsorships and city contributions only go so far in making it happen.

While working to raise those funds is not something those who are charged with the duty would usually call "fun," the folks at Burbank on Parade did prove this past Sunday that collecting cash for the cause actually can be "funny."

Gearing up for the 2014 parade, which will take place on April 26 on Olive Avenue with the theme of "Burbank: City of the Future," parade organizers staged a fundraiser at Flappers Comedy Club that tickled the funny bones of both those who enjoy and carry on the tradition of parading down the avenue that dates back to the end of World War II.

Welcomed by the organization's president, Carey Briggs, attendees at Sunday's event enjoyed the evening's host, NBC4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, as he presented the comedic stylings of Jeff Richards, Brian Dunkleman, Cristela Alonzo, Drew Lynch, Jose Barrientos, Lisa Orkin and Richy Leis.

Burbank's parade has not taken place every year. The first time residents took to the streets in a show of community pride was in 1945 when the Burbank Junior Chamber of Commerce organized the event to be held in conjunction with the annual spring festival that included parties, the Miss Burbank Pageant, various contests, dancing and other means of celebrating life in Burbank.

After a good run (or, perhaps, more appropriately, march) of 12 years, the annual parade ended in 1957, leaving many Burbankers with great memories of the day and its surrounding events.

Those memories were so indelibly etched in the minds and hearts of a group of Burbank residents, that in 1981, they formed a group dedicated to reviving the annual tradition.

Since then, the parade has been presented each year under a different theme and has boasted a cavalcade of notables as its grand marshals including television and silver-screen personalities George Lopez, Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, Debbie Reynolds, Alan Hale, Donald O'Connor, Danny Bonaduce, Anson Williams and the cast of NBC's early-1990s sitcom, "Saved By The Bell."

Over the years, the parade has also featured local elected officials, equestrian units, classic cars and bands from as far away as Pennsylvania, along with the Marine Corps bands and several other Armed Forces units.

Burbank on Parade is made possible by the support of the city of Burbank, local individuals, businesses and fundraising events.

Among those whose dedication made last week's funny-for-money fundraiser a success were members of the organization's board of directors Joanne Miller, David Freedman, Trudy Swearingen, Rob Bost, Heather Jennings, Ed Leavitt and Joyce Rudolph and committee members John Miranda, Karen Volpei, Tracee Miller, Mickey DePalo, Alisa Cunningham, Linda Barnes, Cynde Bost, Ross Benson, Lisa Conti, Tiffany Brain, Dianna Briggs and Natalie Osgood.

Among the many local supporters who enjoyed the evening were Barry Gussow, Dan Soderstrom, Dottie Hubrich, Laureen Endoso, George Grochowaski, Sandy Dennis and Jon Schafer.

For more information about Burbank on Parade, to volunteer or become a sponsor, visit the organization's website at http://www.burbankonparade.com.


DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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