With all of the requisite knocking on wood, after two years of all-virtual everything and cancelled major, in-person events, everything seems to be breaking right for a blockbuster Memorial Day weekend, including a return of the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade on May 30.
Except, that is, for a slight delay in applications via the U.S. Postal Service. To make sure as many floats as possible participate in the first in-person parade in two years, organizers have extended the deadline for parade entries to May 25. Go here to apply.
“The Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade will be ‘LIVE’ on May 30th this year,” Larry “the Hat” Lautzker, one of the parade’s organizers. “One of Mill Valley’s biggest annual events is back!”
The parade kicks off with the special Veterans Ceremony, which includes the student K-8 essay contest, “What does Memorial Day mean to me?” starting at 9:45 at Lytton Square followed by the parade from Old Mill School at 10:30 before heading down Miller Avenue.
The I Love a Parade committee – Lautzker, Clifford Waldeck and Paul Moe – are expanding the scope of this year’s event to include the Ukraine, for all those who have “lost their lives fighting for our freedom” in conflicts worldwide. A portion of this year’s parade registration and sponsorship proceeds will go to Ukraine Relief. “These men and woman have given their lives so the world can be a safer place!” Lautzker says.
Organizers are bringing back the glory days of Mill Valley parades, Color Guard and dogs marching, with a trophy for best dog. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, bikes, skateboards, Redwoods Drum Corps, Veterans float, lots of kids and more. “A heads up to the Bad Fashion offenders in our community, The Famous4 Fashion Police will be out in force, protecting our children from being exposed to and the damage caused by reckless coordination, wardrobe expired, bad banana khaki karma, excessive accessorizing and other violations that harm our kids ideas of fashion understanding and confidence,” Lautzker says.
There are more than 60 different parade entries in most years and trophies are awarded for Best Car, Best Float, Best Dog, Best Music, Best Novelty, Best Business, Best Community Spirit and Best Overall.
As usual, the parade will be preceded by the return of the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters’ Association’s Pancake Breakfast from 7-11am, followed by the aforementioned Veterans Ceremony at Lytton Square, the tree-laden island that splits the road between Miller and Corte Madera avenues into two and is named for Lytton Barber, Mill Valley’s first WWI casualty.
The parade is one key piece of a blockbuster weekend in Mill Valley, including Kiddo!‘s annual four-day Kiddo! Family Carnival beginning Friday, May 27 and running through Monday, May 30. There will be rides for all ages, plus food and games. Advance discounted ticket vouchers are $30 and may be turned in at the Carnival for a ticket book or for a one day wrist band for unlimited rides. Once the Carnival begins, wristbands will be $40. Food and games are extra.
The Mill Valley Historical Society will have its annual ‘Walk Into History’ event over Memorial Day Weekend. MORE INFO.
Kiddo! Memorial Day Celebration 12-5:15pm on Friends Field – FREE ADMISSION
Immediately after the parade on Friends Field at the Mill Valley Community Center, Kiddo!, (in collaboration with Mill Valley Recreation, The City of Mill Valley, Famous4 Productions) is hosting a free “Concert on the Green” from 12:30-5:00pm featuring music from Catfight, Wreckless Strangers, and other special guests. The event is free to the community. There will also be tasty food and beverages for all ages from local vendors available for purchase. PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN ADULT BEVERAGES. Beer, wine, and other assorted beverages will be sold at the event with proceeds to benefit Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation. For more information, please contact the Kiddo! office at (415) 389-7789 or visit the Kiddo! website at www.kiddo.org.