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Remembering first Arcadia Patriotic Festival & parade July 2, 2011

Arcadia had its first community-wide parade and street fair in at least 75 years on July 2, 2011 as part of the daylong Arcadia’s Best Patriotic Festival presented by the non-profit Arcadia’s Best Foundation.

The day began with a VIP breakfast with Mayor Gary Kovacic and nearly two-dozen current and former Rose Queens and Princesses dating back to the 1940s, and included a car show, entertainment stage performances by children and adults, dozens of vendor/sponsor exhibit booths, numerous food trucks, and a classic car show. But the centerpiece of the festival that drew crowds of 3,000 – 4,000 was the first Independence Day parade since the mid-1900s that showcased Arcadia groups, businesses, students, and organizations. Eight years later it is still the only such parade in Arcadia in the 21st century. The nearly hour-long parade featured an impressive 70 entries of all sorts, and more than 600 participants. The lovely women who have represented Arcadia in the royal court of the Tournament of Roses parades on New Year’s Day over the years, once again waved to adoring crowds along First Avenue between Duarte Road and Huntington Drive. And Queens and Princesses chosen to ride on Arcadia’s own Rose Float in the Pasadena parade each year were together in a beautiful carriage pulled by four magnificent Clydesdale horses in the 2011 event.

Arcadia’s Best Foundation was founded by Carol Libby, Sho Tay, and myself to create community events such as this and the annual One Community, One Book; the Downtown Arcadia Christmas Market, and the monthly Carcadia @Route 66 showcase of cool vehicles. Bruce McCallum joined us as the Event Coordinator of the Patriotic Festival. And we had the support of dozens of groups and sponsors and hundreds of volunteers. One of those spontaneous volunteers on the day of the event was Raymond Elgin, who owns the Belle n’ Beau photography studio on First Avenue. Unknown to us, Raymond took nearly 1,000 fabulous photos of the festival and simply handed them all to us on a digital disc a few days later. Because of that, along with about 700 photos taken at our request by Zhong Photography on First Avenue, and a few photos sent to us by others, we have a wonderful record of the event.

Nearly 2,000 photos and an hour of video have been condensed to the following 44-minutes of video highlights from the event, including video of the entire parade in 32-minutes…

Rose Queens and Princesses at VIP breakfast, parade, group photos…

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