106 years of the Fourth

Bob Mandic has always had a front-row seat to the annual Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade.

Growing up on Main Street, Mandic's family would stay home for the holiday to watch the parade from his front yard. When he got into his teens, Mandic said, he would sell soda pop for a couple of nickels to the parade watchers.

He also watched the parade for several years from the inside out. As a city councilman and a mayor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mandic was part of the parade. He even almost got thrown out of the parade when he was mayor in 1982 for throwing candy to the kids as his car rolled down the parade route.

"I went around the corner and did it anyways," he said.

The parade brings back a lot of memories for the longtime resident, and this year, he will get to make a new one — as the Community Grand Marshal for the 106th annual Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade.

Mandic, his wife and his daughter will ride in the parade behind the Pacifica District Honor Color Guard and represent the city.

"It's a big honor," Mandic said. "I appreciate it very much."

The parade gives Mandic a sense of nostalgia and helps Huntington maintain its small-town feel by bringing the community together.

Mandic was chosen for his long history with Surf City and his community service work with the American Legion, Miss Huntington Beach Scholarship Pageant, Huntington Beach High School music program and Children's Needs Task Force.

Mandic served on the City Council and as mayor in 1982 and 1986 because he "didn't like the way the city was developing." During his time in office, Mandic said he is most proud of his work advocating lower densities.

He was also involved in establishing the Huntington Beach Central Park Equestrian Center, renovating Newland House Museum and rebuilding the pier.

"A lot of people don't know everything he does in the community," said Fourth of July Executive Board member Karen Pedersen. "He is quiet about it."

Mandic is the grand marshal this year, along with celebrity Grand Marshall Roger Williams, the pianist behind "Autumn Leaves," "Born Free" and "Impossible Dream."

"He's quite a character, very colorful and he's going to be a lot of fun," Fourth of July Executive Board Director Pat Stier said about Williams at the group's final meeting Wednesday.

The parade is part of the culture and history of Surf City and the largest parade west of the Mississippi, Pedersen said. This year's theme, "A Star Spangled 4th," will celebrate the nation's independence with three days of events.

The Fourth of July Executive Board has been planning since August to bring it all together.

The Huntington Beach Fire Department's new chief, Patrick McIntosh, will open the parade, resident Matt Liffreing will be awarded the Bill Gallienne Award and celebrities K-EARTH 101 radio host Gary Bryan, former San Francisco 49ers Jesse Sapolu and 11-year-old actor Atticus Shaffer from "Middle" will be a part of the parade.

The day will be packed with events, starting with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and Surf City 5K Run and Fitness Expo, an airplane fly-over, live music and a fireworks show from the pier at night.

"There is nothing like laying on that beach and looking up at those fireworks," Pedersen said.

Schedule of Events

July 3

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pier Plaza Festival at the pier

• 2:30 to 5 p.m. RockStars Youth Bands playing music from 1970-75

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. RockStars Instructor Band playing music from the 1970s to today

• 8:15 to 9 p.m. RockStars Adult Live Performance Groups playing rock 'n' roll music from the 1970s and '80s.

July 4

6 a.m. Surf City 5K Run and Fitness Expo at Main and 17th streets

6 a.m. Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast in Lake Park at Main and 11th streets.

10 a.m. 106th annual Fourth of July Parade

1 to 7 p.m. Main Street Family Fun Activities at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway

1 to 9 p.m. Pier Plaza Festival featuring:

• 2 p.m. Mr. Huntington Beach Matt Liffreing will host a Huntington Beach Trivia contest with prizes

•3 p.m. Radio Disney Rockin' Road Crew

• 3:30 p.m. Mai Tai's Huntington Beach Surf Band

• 4:40 p.m. Radio Disney Rockin' Road Crew

• 5 p.m. Jessarae

• 5:50 p.m. Austin Anderson

• 6:05 p.m. Sammy & Sasha

• 6:50 p.m. Radio Disney Rockin' Road Crew

• 7:10 p.m. Radio Disney Concert featuring 2009 Next Big Winner Jasmine Sagginario

• 8 p.m. Radio Disney Concert featuring AllStar Weekend

9 p.m. Fireworks show

July 5

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pier Plaza Festival

Street Closures and Parking for July 4

The parade begins at Pacific Coast Highway and Eighth Street and travels up PCH to Main Street, then up Main to Yorktown Avenue.

Pacific Coast will be closed from Goldenwest Street to Beach Boulevard from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 7 until about 11 p.m.

Twin Dolphin Drive will be closed from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Main between PCH and Olive Avenue will be closed all day.

The pier will be partially closed all day and shut down at 5 p.m.

Parking

The Main Promenade Parking Structure will have a $27 flat fee for all day. Pass holders will not be charged.

The City Beach Parking Lot will have a flat fee of $25 per space.

Finding the perfect spot for the parade

• Spots can be saved after 7 a.m. July 3 on the median or using chalk on the sidewalk, but no items can block sidewalks or pedestrian access prior to 6 a.m. July 4.

•Tape or any adhesive materials can't be used to save spaces.

• Any space-saving materials must be removed by 3 p.m. July 4.

•Bleacher seating at Lake Park between 11th and 12th streets will be $15 per seat until sold out.

•Pier seating for the fireworks show will be $10.

•Tickets can be bought online and at the Fourth of July merchandise stand on the pier July 3 and 4.

For all things Fourth of July, go to http://www.hb4thofjuly.org.

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