Organizers are putting last-minute touches on the revamped 55th
annual Days of the Verdugos fiesta and parade, which will be led by
National Guardsmen from the Glendale Armory.
The 3rd Battalion of the 160th Infantry of the California
National Guard, which defended two chemical plants and an ammunition
depot in Utah for almost a year, will serve as grand marshal of the
"We thought it would be a great idea to have them because they
just came back from their tour of duty," said Luis Aldana, president
of the Glendale Junior Chamber of Commerce. "We like to honor special
The parade, originally started to celebrate the city's Latino
heritage, has grown to include all of the city's cultures. The
festival benefits the Jaycees.
The parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, will consist of two
hours of music, horses and ethnic and cultural demonstrations,
including mariachi performers and marching bands from area schools,
including Burbank and Glendale high schools.
It's a mainstay of the festival, which takes place Thursday
through Sunday at Verdugo Park, 1601 Canada Blvd., and features
carnival rides, international food booths and music.
Organizers made some changes to the parade after last year's event
was threatened by a lack of interest and participation. The Days of
Verdugo Assn. -- which for years helped organize the parade along
with the Jaycees -- pulled out to focus on other projects.
This year's parade, complete with floats and marching bands, will
march down Brand Boulevard during the day instead of at night, a
return to parade tradition. The route has also been reversed and will
move from north to south along Brand Boulevard.
"It'll be warmer for everybody, and we wanted to clear the streets
a lot faster so that business can get back to normal," Aldana said.
"We're trying to be as business-friendly as possible."