Downtown Julian is the best place to join with friends and visitors to celebrate Independence Day — our nation’s birthday — and the freedoms that were hard-won by our Founding Fathers and protected ever since by countless men and women of strength, courage and integrity.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Julian’s Star-Spangled 4th.” Grand Marshal Roger Mudd, a Vietnam War-era former prisoner of war, along with veterans from the local American Legion Post and other dignitaries, will ride down Main Street to cheers and applause from their flag-waving townsfolk and guests.
Get your seat early — the road closes at 9am — and take time to buy a parade T-shirt and visit the annual Julian Woman’s Club Heritage Quilt Show before settling in for pre-parade entertainment that starts at 10 a.m. Patriotic music performed on three stages, and four World War II Stearman biplanes flying overhead, will put you in just the right spirit. At noon, the local Julian Doves and Desperados reenactment group will entertain with an Old West-style shootout, followed by fly-overs of military training planes.
And just before the parade launches, the Julian Arts Chorale will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Bagpipes, mariachis, a Dixieland brass band, and a drum and bugle corps are set to perform along the route, accompanied by entries that will include comedy groups, a belly dance troupe, antique cars and tractors, business leaders, and representatives of civic and social organizations — all creating a colorful salute to the unique heritage we share as Americans. Immediately after the parade, American Legion Post 468 at 2503 Washington St. is the place to continue the celebration with a backyard barbecue, live music and dancing. Supporting the Post helps it provide for local veterans, youth programs and scholarships. Information is available at julianparade.com.
The Fourth of July is the perfect day to pause and consider the freedoms we Americans enjoy, and the Julian Fourth of July Parade is a fine example of what those freedoms can produce — a community engaged in the creative pursuit of happiness and prosperity.
By Ann Reilly Cole
Event Photo by Carol Kinney