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Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade to honor volunteerism

The Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade is scheduled for March 4 and will honor volunteerism.
The Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade is scheduled for March 4 and will honor volunteerism. Pictured here is the Orange County Sons of the American Revolution marching in the parade in 2020.
(Spencer Grant)

Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade organizers have announced the theme for the upcoming processional.

The 56th running of the community event will celebrate “Volunteer Heroes,” a theme that will honor the wide array of volunteerism seen throughout the town.

Sandi Werthe, parade entry chairwoman, suggested the theme, saying that many of the entries the parade receives have ties to volunteering.

“Everybody agreed that ‘Volunteer Heroes’ would work because everybody in town — a lot of the groups that are in the parade and a lot of the stuff in town — is all done by volunteers,” Edward Hanke, president of the parade committee, said. “Part of Laguna being Laguna is everybody volunteering to do things, and I think that’s what helps get a lot of stuff done.”

Hanke, who has been cast in the famed “Last Supper” reproduction that concludes the Pageant of the Masters living picture show, said he feels people generally find the experience of volunteering to be rewarding.

“They couldn’t put on the Pageant if it wasn’t for the volunteers,” Hanke said. “They have over 500 volunteers every year that come in and help with the show. That’s all revenue that comes into the city, which is great.”

The parade committee will meet next month to select honorees for the parade, which is scheduled to roll along the streets of Laguna Beach on Saturday, March 4.

Community members are encouraged to submit nominations for the grand marshal, citizen of the year, artist of the year, and athlete of the year. Those who make nominations are asked to provide some background information on the person they have nominated for the committee’s consideration.

Nominations should be submitted to Werthe at shworthy@cox.net.

The junior citizens of the year are selected by Laguna Beach High School.

After the coronavirus pandemic sidelined the parade, it returned last year with a theme of “Toward Community and Unity.”

“A lot of them … tend to be thought up [based on] where we’re at in time with the parade,” Hanke said of the parade themes. “With COVID and everything, we realized that a lot of stuff was getting done because of volunteers.”

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