H.B. to stage its 108th Fourth of July Parade

Huntington Beach will celebrate the Fourth of July with its 108th annual parade Wednesday.

According to the event's website, approximately 2,000 people will gather for a day full of entertainment.

A pancake breakfast, presented by the Kiwanis, will kick off the event at 6:30 a.m. at Lake Park, followed by the Surf City 5K run and Fitness Expo at Worthy Park at 7 a.m.

The parade will start at 10 a.m., when more than 200 floats will travel from Eighth Street down Pacific Coast Highway, make a left at Main Street, then proceed up the street before ending just after Yorktown Avenue. The parade is expected to end around noon.

This year, the parade's grand marshal is Patrick Warburton, best known for his roles on "Seinfeld," "Family Guy" and the upcoming motion picture "Ted." Other guests will include Jake Short (the Disney Channel's "A.N.T. Farm"); Tim Conway Jr. (KFI AM 640); Gary Bryan (K-EARTH 101); Peter "PT" Townend (professional surfing world champion); and Darrell and Brandon Sheets ("Storage Wars").

Air Force Lt. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski will serve as the military grand marshal.

Other participants include Miss Huntington Beach and the Ocean View Little League.

Guests can stake out a spot for the parade beginning at 7 a.m. July 3. Officials also urge arriving early to avoid traffic and because parking fills up quickly.

This year, Archie Gregory, 97, a Pearl Harbor survivor and Huntington Beach resident, will also participate in the parade. According to Stacey Newton, the parade's assistant director, the event has always had Pearl Harbor veterans, but this will be the first time that there is only one.

Gregory said he has participated in the parade for about 20 years, and is one of eight Pearl Harbor survivors from the Orange County chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn. He said he is the only one participating this year because the others are either ill or have prior commitments.

"When I first went in the parade, I walked the whole thing," Gregory said. "I carried a banner. Then we built a float of our own for a few years. Then we hired a float. Now, with just eight of us in there, we can't afford it."

The parade will be followed by fireworks from the end of the pier at 9 p.m.

PCH will be closed from Goldenwest Street to Beach Boulevard from 7 p.m. until traffic has cleared after the fireworks show, estimated to be around 11 p.m.

Huntington Street will be also closed to through traffic between Atlanta Avenue and PCH.

Preceding the parade is a festival at the pier from July 1 to July 4. Attractions include a 175-foot inflatable slide, food and musical performances.

For a complete list of events and for more information, visit hb4thofjuly.org.


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