On Independence Day, the town of Orinda, California celebrated July 4th in classic style with a hometown parade. The parade is a local tradition that has taken place for generations. It was postponed due to Covid-19 in 2020, but this year it was back and in full force, with over 40 different floats and groups represented.
Spectators gathered early in the morning to be ready for the parade and to stake out spots along the route.
The parade started promptly at 10am, and made its way through downtown Orinda and towards the Orinda Community Center and library, as well as Orinda's main park. As the parade warmed up, a band played jazz music and people enjoyed a pancake breakfast.
When the parade itself arrived, it was a lively affair. A wide variety of community groups were represented, from local ecological groups, and members of the city government and city council to loal churches, fraternal organizations, and preschools.
Several local marching bands were involved in the parade and played patriotic music as they marched through the route. The crowd gathered along the route waved flags and cheered as each float passed.
One highlight of the parade was the inclusion of several New Orleans-style bands. They played cheerful music, and one band even included several people on stilts walking in front of the band and entertaining the gathered crowd.
By the end of the parade, a massive group of locals, kids, and other revelers rode bikes or marched in the parade. There were fire trucks and other local emergency service workers out to celebrate, and the local sheriff blocked traffic to allow people to gather along the parade route.
Overall, the parade was a joyful celebration of Independence Day and small-town life in Orinda.
Thomas Smith is a writer and content professional based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is available to hire for freelance writing projects.