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Burbank on Parade expanded to be an ‘epic day of celebration’

The Burbank and Burroughs high school marching bands performed together during the 34th Annual Burbank on Parade on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

The Burbank and Burroughs high school marching bands performed together during the 34th Annual Burbank on Parade on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

This spring, the street in front of George Izay Park in Burbank will be filled with music, dancing, food trucks and more. The festivities will follow this year’s Burbank on Parade, which is set for April 23 with the theme “Our Heroes.”

The annual event is being expanded to what organizers are calling an “epic day of celebration” with family activities planned to begin in the early morning on parade day and extend through the afternoon.

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In the early 1980s, the parade’s organizers started the event to revive a spring festival celebrating life in Burbank that was organized by the city’s Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1945 and lasted for 12 years. Now in its 35th year, Burbank on Parade will be the centerpiece of a daylong schedule that will include a fun run/walk event, a bike ride and a “family festival.”

“The committee is organizing a fun-filled day for the whole family — mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and all the kids,” Burbank on Parade Chairwoman Joanne Lento Miller said in a statement. “We will have something for everyone.”

The mile-long parade route on Olive Avenue from Keystone to Lomita streets will be closed to vehicle traffic at 6 a.m. April 23, making way for the Burbank fun run/walk event at 7:30 a.m. and a bicycle ride — dubbed CicLABurbank and organized by Walk Bike Burbank — at 8:30 a.m.

The bike event is like a “mini-CicLAvia,” said Walk Bike Burbank’s Mary Dickson. She said the group hopes it encourages everyone to ride their bikes to the parade, where Walk Bike Burbank will have a “bike valet” to park their bikes, and to stay for the whole day of events.

The parade will kick off at 11 a.m., traveling east on Olive toward Lomita, followed by an awards presentation at about 1 p.m. at the end of the route.

The post-parade festival will run from 2 to 4 p.m. on Olive between Verdugo Avenue and Victory Boulevard and will include a car show featuring cars from the Road Kings of Burbank and other entries; street dancing with three live bands; and more than a dozen food trucks. The rest of Olive Avenue will be open to vehicle traffic following the parade.

Past parades have included the awards ceremony, food trucks and other post-parade activities behind the Olive Recreation Center, but some officials said the festivities were often hidden from members of the public who had gathered along the parade route.

This year the plan is to bring them out “into the limelight” for better visibility and more participation, Burbank on Parade President Carey Briggs said.

Organizers hope to make this year’s event the focal point of activities in the San Fernando Valley for the day, he said. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 spectators came to last year’s parade and Briggs said he hopes to see “substantially more” this year.

Briggs said organizers have been looking to expand the event for a while, to make it “like it used to be” more than a decade ago, when the event featured a weekend of carnival rides, food and games.

Burbankers can register to march or ride a horse in the parade, showcase a band, enter a float or novelty, volunteer or sponsor the parade at burbankonparade.com/march-with-us/.

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Chad Garland, chad.garland@latimes.com

Twitter: @chadgarland


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