Linden Avenue was packed with enthusiastic residents gathered for the annual Independence Parade, held as always the Saturday before the Fourth of July.
Among the 39 entrants and 300 participants this year were Mary Crowley, the Grand Marshall and the Carpinterian of the Year, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Pipe and Drum Corps, a 60-foot Huey Helicopter, a Seaside Shuttle full of past Carpinterians of the Year, the Carpinteria Junior Warriors, the Carpinteria High School Warrior Cheerleaders, the Carpinteria Junior Lifeguards, and Island Brewing Company.
The announcers, lead by the always entertaining KEYT senior reporter John Palminteri, included the talented and adorable 9-year-old Clover Martinez, along with Nilo Fanucchi and Kiona Gross.
Producer Mike Lazaro of Carp Events shared how the parade has evolved from the early years when they had only one flatbed truck, which they drove through the route multiple times, each time with a different group onboard. He related how he quickly learned to “put the dancers before the donkeys,” and today he’s understandably proud of this well-run production. The parade showcased Carpinteria’s small-town charm with wide smiles everywhere — from participants to onlookers, from toddlers to seniors. After the parade, the party continued as many headed to popular downtown bars and restaurants.
The parade is sponsored by the Downtown Merchants and Downtown T-Business Advisory Board.
By Gail Arnold