It's going to be a great day for the 47th annual Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Expect nice weather, with a high of about 81 degrees.
This year's parade, with the theme of "All Together Now," will follow the same route of years' past, starting at Park Avenue and Legion Street, continuing on Glenneyre Street and then to Forest Avenue, just past City Hall, where the route ends.
Portions of Forest, Ocean and Park avenues, Beach, Third, Glenneyre, Short and Legion streets, as well as the Pepper Tree Parking Lot, will be closed starting at 10 a.m., according to the city. All of Forest Avenue and Third Street, as well as Glenneyre Street between Legion Street and Forest Avenue and Park Avenue between St. Anns Drive and Glenneyre Street, will be closed from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Heavy traffic is expected before and during the parade and the city encourages drivers to take alternate routes and carpool if possible. Traffic alert reminders via text and email will be sent out to subscribers starting Friday afternoon, city officials said. People can subscribe to the service at http://www.lagunabeachcity.net and click on "Traffic Alerts."
The public can park for free at the city's Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon Road and Lumberyard parking lots, next to City Hall. City bus service will continue its regular Saturday schedule; however, there will be no bus service to the Susi Q Community and Senior Center during the parade.
About 100 participants are expected to be part of the parade, including representatives from the American Legion/Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Laguna Beach City Council and other city officials, the Laguna Beach High School band, Pageant of the Masters, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Hobie Sports, Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, Soroptimist International of Laguna Beach, the Art-a-Fair, Tivoli Terrace and Tivoli Too!, the Sawdust Art Festival, among others.
The Grand Marshal is Capt. Jason Ehret, a U.S. Navy Seal and graduate of Laguna Beach High School, class of 1984. The Honored Patriot is Dr. Joseph A. Pursch, who served as a flight surgeon and chief of neuropsychiatry during his 20 year career in the Navy, according to a news release. He currently has a private practice in Laguna.
Citizens of the Year are Arnold and Bonnie Hano, local activists and volunteers. The Junior Citizens of the Year are Laguna Beach High School seniors Michelle Brown and Brock Csira.
Athlete of the Year is Laguna Beach High football player Drake Martinez. Artists of the year are the Pageant of the Masters, which is celebrating 80 years.
Cox Channel 3 will broadcast the parade from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 and again at 4 p.m. March 10, and March 12 and at 5 p.m. March 14, and from 7 to 9 p.m. March 15. It will also air on Cox3 "On Demand Channel 2636" from March 16 to April 16.