Thankfully, at long last for live events and communities everywhere and all they nourish by bringing people together with inspiration and joy, "the times, they are a-changin'" as the great Bob Dylan wrote and sang in his uniquely signature way.
Half Moon Bay's Ol' Fashioned 4th of July Parade Committee announced this year's beloved parade is back on with plans to make an even bigger bang.
"With the improving COVID conditions, rising vaccination rates and easing of restrictions, we have left no stone unturned in our due diligence with our planning to ensure everyone's health and safety to the fullest extent possible. We have the support of city officials and feel the time is right to bring back the parade for the Coastside community ... plus this is the special 50th anniversary of the parade and we have a very special grand marshal to honor," said Cameron Palmer, 4th of July Parade Committee Co-Chairman along with Co-Chair Roxy Stone and event producer Tim Beeman, CEO of Miramar Events.
"We're thrilled about the return of this timeless, much-loved community event," said Robert Brownstone, Mayor. "This will be a safe, fun, family-friendly celebration of not only independence day, but of our community's return to a more normal summer in Half Moon Bay."
Organizers are designing this celebration with a big event feel and flourish and plan to make it an extra special day to remember.
We're expanding the theme and scope of the Ol' Fashioned 4th of July Parade to also include a music-driven community street festival to bookend the parade - Coastside Rising "So Happy Together" celebrates and brings together the entire Coastside community with a healthy dose of uplifting positivity all tied together with the hope, momentum and optimism of the State Re-Opening comeback, with event promotion targeted to the Coastside.
Coastside Rising "So Happy Together" runs from 11am to 4pm at Main and Kelly. Plans include a big music stage focal point and main attraction kicking off at 11am.
The stellar band lineup on the immense and sparkling "Star Spangled" Concert Stage includes the Carmen Ratti Blues Band (11am), The Megatones (1pm), and Aja Vu (3pm). The bands will take a break during the parade, from 12pm to 1pm. Plus catch electrifying performances throughout the day by world-class entertainment troupe Earth Circus including superstar stilt walkers, jugglers, acrobatic plate and carpet spinners. Former Cirque du Soleil headline performer Vladik will be presenting his amazing, acrobatic body juggling act. He will also entertain the crowd with up close juggling tricks that will amaze the crowd.
FABULOUSLY FESTIVE FOOD AND DELECTABLY DELICIOUS DRINK
Additional highlights include "Land of the Free" (But You Pay) Libations Lane with deelish craft beer from Half Moon Bay Brewing Company (easy-drinking Kolsch and hop happy IPA), refreshing wine (Fisherman's Red and Mavericks Sauvignon Blanc) from Half Moon Bay Winery, Coastside themed pre-batched specialty cocktails (Half Moon Margarita, Coastal Collins, and The Vaccine) from the master mixologists at Craft Bar Services, hand-crafted radically raw fermented Dr. Hops Hard Kombucha (Strawberry-Lemon or Ginger-Lime), and Pathwater - PATH is the only bottled water company in the industry that offers electrolyte-enhanced purified water in a 100% refillable and sustainable bottle. PATH offers the convenience of a pre-filled, refillable bottled water and leads the fight against single-use plastic bottles that are harmful to our planet.
Plus there's "Stars & Stripes" Mobile Eats Alley with festive food trucks and purveyors dishing up great grub. Local Coastside favorite Sam's Chowder Mobile will be serving up their to-die-for Sam's Famous Lobster Rolls, New England Style Clam Chowder, Gluten Free Lobster Tacos, Baja Fish Tacos, Fish and Chips, Po' Boys, Grilled Prawn Wraps and more! Alebrijes Oaxacan Kitchen serves authentic Oaxacan food, the Bay Area's best. Dig in on some super scrumptious handcrafted wood-fired artisan thin crust pizza from Nahua Pizza. Kettle corn is an absolute festival fave that calls out to just about everyone and Olde Tyme Kettlecorn pops the good stuff like nobody. Sip and savor Tiny Footprint espresso and drip coffee, Rishi brand teas and organic matcha at California Kahve, a uniquely cool vintage coffee caravan. Menu items consist of small batch drip coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, matcha lattes, rose lattes, herbal and botanical lattes such as a butterfly pea flower and chamomile tea latte, and specialty donuts from Dynamo Donuts. Also offered is a variety of teas--green, elderberry, Irish breakfast, Earl Grey, mint, chamomile and mushroom. Tiny Footprint Coffee is the world's first carbon negative organic coffee company, funding reforestation in Ecuador's Mindo cloud forest. California Kahve uses only compostable cups, lids and paper products. More to come.
TONS OF FUN FOR KIDS
The "Bright Stars" Kidz Fab Funzone will feature an ultra-thrilling Bungee Jump, CEF Cornhole Corner, Long Branch Farms Axe Throwdown Cage, and tons of fun for the kiddos. Plus additional surprises in the works to be announced.
To honor and celebrate her 90th birthday, beloved community icon, Matriarch of Main Street, longtime (now former) owner of Half Moon Bay institution Cunha's Country Store and the only remaining founding member of the Pumpkin Festival, Bev Ashcraft, will serve as Grand Marshal of the Ol' Fashioned 4th of July Parade.
"No one has done more for the City of Half Moon Bay and particularly Main Street than Bev Ashcraft and no one is more loved," said Cameron Palmer, Parade Co-Chair. "Having Bev as our Grand Marshall is the perfect marriage. Like Bev, the Ol' Fashioned 4th of July Parade is a revered, time-honored institution in our community that everyone cherishes. It's an honor and privilege for us to celebrate Bev at this year's parade as we celebrate an extra special day of our community gathered "so Happy Together"," said Palmer.
Starting at 12 noon, the delightful, home-spun parade, fronted by the San Mateo County Sheriffs and CalFire, celebrates classic small town American spirit with an entertaining array of whimsical floats, marching bands, community service groups, classically cool cars, decorated trikes and bikes, parading pooches, youth sports teams, dance and theatre troupes, a Color Guard by the American Legion, and local dignitaries and celebrities slowly winding their way through the crowded downtown along Main Street between Filbert and Mill Streets. Honoring Half Moon Bay's western heritage and always a parade highlight, there will be a large number of equine entries.
For many locals, it's one of their favorite events of the year.
The parade starts at 12pm, transforming the charming downtown along Main Street into a pulsating Coastsider take on a mini-Mardi Gras style celebration.
There will be no judging of parade entries this year; simply a celebration of community.
Those interested in participating can find parade entry forms at City Hall, Half Moon Bay Feed & Fuel and Cameron's Inn or online https://miramarevents.com/4th-of-july-parade
As part of the festivities, the Half Moon Bay Lions Club will be hosting its annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast in the City Hall parking lot (501 Main Street) beginning at 8am.
Organizers are partnering with Coastside Hope to host a COVID-19 vaccination pop-up at the festival. Vaccines will be administered to patrons 12 and older from 11am to 4pm. No appointment is necessary. "Offering attendees the opportunity to receive a vaccination at the festival, helps reinforce the message of encouraging the entire community to get vaccinated so we can all safely enjoy festival gatherings once again and into the future," said Judith Guerrero, Executive Director of Coastside Hope. HR Support will be administering the vaccines and the vaccine clinic is possible thanks to the support of San Mateo County Health.
HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
The event will be held in accordance with State, County and City Health and Safety guidelines. Health guidelines strongly recommend that attendees be fully vaccinated. If not fully vaccinated, guidelines strongly recommend that attendees obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to attending the event and wear a face covering at the event.
SPECTACULAR SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS
Cameron's Inn & Pub, Miramar Events, Granola's, Premier Termite, Ocean Blue Real Estate, Half Moon Bay Winery, Joe Cotchett Family, Republic Services, Sam's Chowder House, Pacific Oaks Memory Care, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Pathwater, Dr. Hops Hard Kombucha, Half Moon Bay Review, Coastside News Group, The Graphic Works, City of Half Moon Bay, American Portables, KHMB Radio, NorCal Sound, Michael John Ahern Presents, Bliss Point Productions, Good Old Fashion Fun, Craft Bar Services, Earth Circus Productions, Half Moon Bay Lions Club, Coastside Hope, Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce & Visitors' Bureau, Cunha's Country Store, Miller-Dutra Coastside Chapel, Heidi Kuiper State Farm Insurance, and Roxy Stone. More to be announced in the coming days.
The parade starts at 12 noon and ends around 1pm and goes down Main Street from Filbert to Mill.
The festival starts at 11am and goes until 4pm at Main and Kelly.
The pancake breakfast starts at 8am in the City Hall parking lot (501 Main Street).