The Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade committee honored students from Thurston Middle and Laguna Beach High schools for their contest entries.

Eighth-grader Charlie Hoffs, from Laura Silver's English class, won the essay contest based on the parade's theme: "Home of the Free Because of the Brave."

Freshman Camden Benson, from Kerry Pellow's graphic arts class, claimed the program cover art contest.

He and Charlie received $100 at the honoree brunch Feb. 2. Union Bank of Laguna Beach and the Patriots Day Parade Assn. donated the awards.

Charlie's essay is posted at and will be included in the program distributed during the week leading up to the March 1 parade.

The 48th annual parade will begin at 11 a.m. Participants will march through downtown Laguna.

For more parade information, call (949) 494-6016 or email Sandi Werthe at

—Bryce Alderton

Twitter: @AldertonBryce