By Abner Galino
THOUSANDS of of people came out and cheered for the participants of the 12th Santa Monica 4th of July parade.
The parade, organized by the Ocean Park Association (OPA) under the theme: “Bringing Communities Together,” also drew hundreds of participants.
School children, boy and girl scouts, students, teachers, sports teams, senior citizens, government employees, activists, musicians, artists, business people, firemen, law enforcers were among those who massed up at about 8 a.m. near the corner of Pico Boulevard and Main Street in Santa Monica and paraded through an estimated 1.4-mile route inside the coastal city.
Many musicians played music while on top of floats and buses.
Filipino American Mary Beth Sales, who helped managed the event and directed parade traffic, identified the show’s co-producers as Magdalena Davis and Brittney Seeliger.
State Senator Ben Allen was the parade’s grand marshall. He was joined by other celebrities that included Santa Monica mayor Ted Winterer, Santa Monica police chief Cynthia Renauld, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, former Santa Monica mayors Judy Abdo, Ruth Goldway, Paul Rosenstein, Nat Trives and Denny Zane, and musician/actress Ava Frye.
Riley Gerlach of Roosevelt Elementary who was crowned “Pre-Teen Queen” was also seen on a float.