I’m just like you – I have seen all kinds of Independence Day parades. Small ones, big ones, good ones, bad ones. I just sat through a bad one, which made me miss the parade in Coronado, California.
No Independence Day parade even comes close to the one held each year in Coronado. Coronado, for those who don’t know it, is located on a sand bar peninsula that juts into San Diego harbor. It actually used to be an island, and it is still called Coronado island by most people. It is also one jewel of a city (its nickname is the Emerald City – rumor has it the Hotel Del Coronado was the inspiration for the Emerald City in Wizard of Oz).
Hotel Del Coronado
It is home to three naval installations, and is just about the prettiest town you will ever see.
But Coronado really shines on the 4th of July. There are runs and art displays and lots of events during the day, but everyone comes to Coronado to see the parade. Locals will tell you that you had better secure your viewing spot the day before or you’ll be about three people back once it all begins. There are horses, and bands, and military formations. There are clowns, and floats, and flatbed trucks. There is just about everything a good parade should have.
And since Coronado is a Navy town, patriotism rules. People stand up for the flag – and not just once; there are so many American flags that the biggest malady at the end of the day are thigh cramps from getting up so often.
It is an Independence Day parade the way it is supposed to be.
Oh, and when the sun sets, you can go to just about any side of the island and watch a half dozen fireworks displays light up overhead.
I can’t top it, and I have tried. Some have come close, but none have equaled it.