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Published June 26th, 2019
Family-friendly activities planned for Fourth of July
Many families came out to celebrate dressed in red, white and blue at last year's parade. Photo Sora O'Doherty

For the past 35 years, community members have gathered along the parade route in downtown Orinda to cheer as marching bands, bagpipers, martial arts demonstrations, floats, stilt walkers, singers, dancers, and local clubs pass by, starting in Theatre District on Moraga Way and winding through the Village District on Orinda Way. This year's festivities promise to be equally fun, with Grand Marshals Bobbie Landers and Ann Christofferson, "Pioneers of the Parade," kicking off the 36th annual Fourth of July "Best Hometown Parade" at 10 a.m. Seniors who wish to view the parade in comfort can sit in covered bleacher seating provided by the Orinda Association's Seniors Around Town program in front of the Community Center on Orinda Way.
Landers said that she started the parade the year before Orinda incorporated in order to give a community feeling to Orinda. "That's why we have the parade on both sides of town, so that we are all together, Orindans, celebrating and having a good time." Christofferson, in 1976, did the first Orinda parade. At the time she was the director of the community center. That parade started at the community center and went north to the old bridge. "In 1984," Landers said, "I remembered that there was once a parade, and we just made the parade bigger and included both sides of town in order to bring everyone in the community together."
The festive day of family-oriented activities begins in front of the Community Center at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, served by the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club, followed by the Flag Raising Ceremony conducted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8063.
Folks looking for a way to burn off breakfast can participate in the Run for A Reason, which raises funds to support the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Foundation, whose mission is to promote awareness, advocate for research and support those affected by sudden unexpected death in childhood. The run begins at 8 a.m. at the Community Center and participants can either do a two-mile walk, which is paved and stroller/dog friendly, or a five-mile run which continues on from the 2-mile walk onto East Bay Municipal Utility District trails, usually only accessible by permit.
Rather not run? Grab a book and relax. The Friends of the Orinda Library will be holding a book sale, which opens at 9 a.m. Play an instrument? You can join the fun and be part of the parade by playing in the all-volunteer Community Marching "Pick-up" Band being organized through Lamorinda Music - call (925) 385-0963 for details. The OA also has new Fourth of July T-shirts and caps for sale at their office, located at 26 Orinda Way. Shirts and hats will also be available along the parade route and later at Orinda Community Park.
Following the parade, the celebrations will continue at the park. There will be activities for children, including a jump house with slide, balloon twisters, face painting, a petting zoo and games at several booths run by local nonprofit groups. Music by will be provided by Three Day Weekend and for refreshments there will be food booths, including Loard's ice cream, water and soft drinks, and domestic and Czech beers.
More Fourth of July activities are planned in Moraga as well (see story).
Info: Presented by The Orinda Association, the Orinda Fourth of July Parade and associated events are free and open to everyone. Complete details are available online at www.OrindaParade.com
Seniors can reserve bleacher seating by calling (925) 254-0800 or
emailing oa@OrindaAssociation.org
Details and registration for Run for a Reason is at https://raceroster.com/events/2019/21862/4th-of-july-run-for-reason

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