Balboa Island Parade is Sunday

The annual Balboa Island Parade, organized by the Balboa Island Improvement Assn., will return for the 19th year at 11 .m. Sunday.

The event will feature a throwback 1950s theme: "Rock Around the Island."

"This year, we wanted to keep it a little more island-friendly, more localized, to get more families involved," parade Chairman Jack Callahan said in an interview last month. "We're also trying to get each of the island streets to have a float to create a fun competition between them."

All of the usual traditions will also return: children on bikes, island dogs, decorated golf carts and floats, vintage cars, Keystone cops, drill teams, marching bands, local elected officials and other dignitaries, according to the event website.

Callahan will take part in the parade. For the last several years, the chairman has helped lead the opening of the parade while wearing a Hawaiian outfit — complete with grass skirt and coconut bra.

"I get a lot of very positive reactions," he joked. "It's kind of wild and crazy, but it's all been positive. We just want it to be fun and memorable for everyone."

The event can also make travel to and from the island difficult. The bridge will close at 10 a.m., so the association is advising visitors to arrive early.

For information, please visit or email

— Sarah Peters

Twitter: @spters01

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