Why Just Watch the Fourth of July Parade When You Can March in it?

Published on May 23, 2024

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You and your organization can become part of the City of South Pasadena’s historic Festival of Balloons Fourth of July Parade this July. The iconic event starts at 11:00 a.m. on Diamond Avenue by the Library Community Room and ends at Garfield Park.

Parade participants always include the scouts, officials, representatives of service clubs, and members of such sports organizations as Little League and AYSO. Volunteers on the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee ride on the chassis of the vehicle that serves as the City’s float for the January Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Dozens of children taking part in the library’s Summer Reading Program and library staff also march.

Many like to say that half of the residents are walking in the popular hometown parade, while the other half are watching it. Civic leaders Ted and Joan Shaw and David Margrave started the tradition in 1982, according the Jane Apostol’s history of South Pasadena.

This year’s theme is “Hometown Heroes: Celebrating the Spirit of Community.” Groups are encouraged to incorporate the theme into their entry’s decorations and to include music.

Registered participants may walk or ride along the route in a vehicle. The distance is approximately 0.6 miles.

To participate, complete the one-page registration form by May 30 at www.southpasadenaca.gov/events and sign that you’ll agree to abide by the event rules. Submit the forms by email (preferred) to specialevents@southpasadenaca.gov or by U.S. Mail to the South Pasadena Recreation Division, located at 815 Mission St., South Pasadena CA 91030, Attn: Festival of Balloons Parade. For questions, please contact Community Services Director, Sheila Pautsch at specialevents@southpasadenaca.gov or at (626) 403-7380.

Following the parade, the City will host a party in the park at Garfield Park. Fireworks will follow starting at 9:00 p.m. at the South Pasadena High School with a pre-show concert from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Community Services Department at (626) 403-7380 or by email at specialevents@southpasadenaca.gov.