Note: I live in the Highlands community in San Mateo, California. For 60+ years, the community has organized its own July 4th fireworks and parade.
To learn more about the community, visit the website of the Highlands Community Association. This post was originally published in “The Lowdown,” a print publication that’s distributed within the community.
Highlands July 4th Parade
Thick fog covered The Highlands when our annual July 4th parade began. Dressed in just a T-shirt and shorts, I began to shiver. My heart and body began to warm, though, when the first parade entrants walked past the judges’ table in front of the Highlands Rec Center.
The judging committee of Shannon Dobbs, Shirley Huang and Chris Im awarded the top prize to The Highlands Marching Band, who took home “Best of Parade.” I heard through the grapevine that the band held just two practices ahead of the parade. Watching them perform, it seemed like they practiced non-stop for the past eleven months.
This year’s parade theme was “You Can Only Be a Kid Twice.” Winning “Best of Parade Theme” was Cub Scouts Pack #3. Each scout was dressed in uniform and donned a homemade roller coaster seat. The boys were secured in their seats via a shoulder harness. Fake legs hung over the front. Or were those real legs? It was hard to tell.
Winning “Best Pet Entry” was “Elsa Wagon with Sven Dog,” a wagon based on Disney’s “Frozen” movie, with a dog (Sven) in a pink stroller.
Other winners were Kravetz International for “Trikes, Bikes and Training Wheels,” the “Up” float (from the Aquino family) for “Individuals, Families and Multi-Family Groups” and the Diversity Dudettes for “Bikes, Blades and Boards.”
Cub Scouts Pack #3 and the Highlands Marching Band were multi-category winners; the former won for “Scout Groups and Organizations,” while the latter won the “Marching Bands and Music” category.
The winners were announced at 1pm at the Midway.
What a great parade! I’d like to thank parade chairperson Karen Teys, the announcers, the participants and all the volunteers who made the parade happen.
Parade Video (Short Recap)
Here’s a short video I made of the fireworks and parade (produced via the Quik app on iPhone):