Santa Monica parade celebrates 4th Of July

Thousands of people lined Main Street in Santa Monica, Calif. on a balmy Friday morning to kick off the fourth of July weekend by watching the eighth annual Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade.

The parade, hosted by the Ocean Park Association, featured a slew of creative spins on the traditional due to the theme of the parade, “May The 4th Be With You,” a spin on the phrase, “may the force be with you,” from the Star Wars movie franchise. The theme inspired members of Occupy Venice to dress as characters from the movies and one participant to don the sails of a child’s sailboat with the phrase. It was a mixture of pop culture and classic Americana.

Grand Marshall and former mayor Nathaniel “Mr. Santa Monica” Trives led the parade from Pico Boulevard, down Main Street to Marine Street and Barnard Way in a vintage police cruiser. He was not the only dignitary on hand as state senator Ted Lieu (D-28), assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-50), Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor and members of the Santa Monica City Council and Santa Monica Malibu School District also marched.

However, the Santa Monica Police Chief may have drawn the best assignment of the day, accompanying a 1927 Bugatti Golden Roadster, one of many classic cars that drove down Main Street to a chorus of cheers and waving hands.

The marchers included multiple bands, from Folk City, Utah, comprised of students from The New Roads School, to The Americans, a folk rock band that has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, to the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra, which of course performed music from John Williams's Star Wars score.

As the parade came to a close, the remnants of the throngs that lined Main Street filled the gap left behind by the last float and followed the parade to its end. The eccentrics and the deluge of people clad in red, white and blue created a second parade in the wake of the official one.