Your weekend: Parades, parties and politics (oh my!)
Sunday is the Fourth of July, and Alameda’s offering its usual abundance of patriotic pickins.
The day kicks off with the Alameda R.A.C.E. (for Ralph Appezzato Charity Event), which starts at 9:45 a.m. in front of the Bank of Alameda, 1417 Park Street, and follows the Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade route. Proceeds from the 5K charity run, which is sponsored by Alameda Community Fund, Chinese Christian Schools and Island City Runners, go to Alameda’s Midway Shelter. For more information on how to participate (or donate), call 523-2647 or check out the race website.
The Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade begins at 10 a.m. The parade, which will feature 170 floats and 2,500 participants, begins at the corner of Park Street and Lincoln Avenue and winds through town (at three miles, it’s the longest parade route in America) to conclude at Lincoln and Webster Street. Event organizers expect about 20,000 people to come out and watch the parade.
This year’s parade generated a bit of a flap among the town’s political class when City Attorney Teresa Highsmith, at the behest of an unnamed City Council member, opined that the parade committee could bar participants from offering campaign slogans as part of their parade act. The city opted to donate money to the parade this year because it was light on funds and at risk of being canceled, City Clerk Lara Weisiger told a resident who asked about the matter this week. Highsmith said that prompted the council member’s inquiry.
In any event, those candidates will still be part of the parade (sans slogans), along with a host of musicians, dancers, gymnasts, martial artists, community groups and more. The theme of this year’s parade is Partners in Community Service.
Grand marshals are longtime supervolunteers Anthony “Lil” and Norma Arnerich. The couple have been active in preserving recreation and sporting opportunities and open space and were instrumental in the passage of Alameda’s density-limiting Measure A, and Lil Arnerich is a past member of the City Council.
Acen Datuin is the parade’s deputy grand marshal. Datuin, a student at the Alameda Science and Technology Institute, edited the school newspaper and served as an editor for its yearbook, served as president of the school’s Pilipino Student Association and also as a student board member for the Alameda Board of Education.
The city’s annual Jumpin’ Jivin’ Jubilee kicks off at noon in Rittler Park, corner of Grand Street and Otis Drive. They’ll offer games, crafts and jump houses for kids, plus music from the Strawberry Fields Mobile DJ Company and food for sale. Wristbands for the kids’ activities are $7 to $15, and free car and bike parking will be available behind Wood Middle School.
And the folks at the USS Hornet will host their annual Fourth of July extravaganza starting at 1 p.m. They’ll have live bands and ship tours, carnival games, a flight simulator and jump house, plus food and adult beverages.
Family activities will take place from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and you can watch the Bay Area’s fireworks displays from the ship beginning at 9:15 p.m. (warm jacket suggested). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door for adults, $10 for kids ages 5 to 17 and free for children under 5 and museum members. Tickets and information are available online or by calling 521-8448, ext. 282.
And folks, if you’ve got a line on any local spots that offer good fireworks viewing, send ’em along.