​Mill Valley’s busiest weekend of the year is almost here. It kicks off with the four-day Kiddo Carnival, followed by the massive Pancake Breakfast, the Memorial Day Parade (preceded by the Lytton Square Memorial Ceremony) and the 15th Anniversary Celebration for the Community Center.

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The biggest weekend-long gathering of your friends and neighbors is almost upon us.

Kiddo! Carnival
Memorial Day Weekend kicks off May 27 with the four-day Kiddo Carnival, which begins Friday at 4pm and wraps up at 5pm Monday. With more than 15 rides, from the Baron Berry-Go-Round and Tune Train for little ones to the Sizzler, Zipper, Century Wheel and Typhoon, are being provided by Sacramento-based California Carnival Company

After an eight-year hiatus, the Carnival was revived in 2012 as part of the 30th anniversary party for Kiddo. The event has become the centerpiece of Memorial Day weekend on the Mill Valley Middle School campus.

Advance $25 ticket books are available in the Kiddo! office at the Mill Valley School District from May 23-26 (8:15am-3:30pm) and May 27 from 8:15am-1pm. Advance tickets will also be sold outside the Mill Valley Community Center May 26-27 starting at 2pm. Once the Carnival begins, the price will increase to $30 for a book of 30 tickets or $35 for an all-day wrist band.  Books may be turned in for a one-day wrist band for unlimited rides. Food and games are extra. MORE INFO.


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Pancake Breakfast
While the Carmival draws thousands throughout the weekend, the 
Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association’s Pancake Breakfast does do in just a few hours on Monday, May 30. The Association launched its annual Pancake Breakfast nearly 20 years ago, when John Thompson, Fred Martin, John McClure and Bob Hughes, among others, cobbled together a bunch of portable grills, coolers and propane tanks and prepared to serve up a Memorial Day breakfast for a few hundred people.

And then 800 showed up. And hundreds more showed every year after that, with volunteers serving up some 1,500 to 2,000 plates each and lines forming around the block outside the Mill Valley Fire Department’s downtown station on Corte Madera Avenue. The massive event is set for 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on traffic-free Corte Madera Ave. in front of City Hall and outside the fire station with pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee.


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Memorial Day Parade and Lytton Square Ceremony
Children of all ages come out for the Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade, which regularly draws more than 6,000 spectators each year and more than 60 organizations and businesses as participants. The parade starts at Old Mill Park at 10:30am – preceded by a memorial service to “honor those fallen heroes who served our country and protected the American dream” – and winds its way through downtown and Miller Ave. before ending at Tam High School. 10:30am.

Applications to enter the parade are available online, and must be received by May 23. Entry fees are $75 for commercial entities and $35 for nonprofits.


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Community Center 15th Anniversary Celebration
It’s time to mark the 15th Anniversary of the Mill Valley Community Center with a blockbuster celebration, featuring live music from Pride & Joy, one of the most popular party bands on the Bay Area music scene, as well as an animal show from Fur, Scales & Tales and exciting, family-friendly theatrics from Circus of Smiles. Also: jumpees, face-painting, balloon animals, arts & crafts, games and sports, airbrush tattoos, great food and much more. Community Center, 180 Camino Alto. Free.
Here’s the schedule of events for the Celebration:

12–4pm: Jumpees, face painting, airbrush tattoos, balloon twisting, bubble soccer, arts & crafts, Food Booths and Anniversary Art Exhibit
12pm: Fur, Scales & Tails Animal Show
12:45pm: Circus of Smiles Show
1:15pm: Mayor’s Welcome and VIP Speeches
1:30pm: Pride & Joy plays 1st set
2:15pm: Cupcake Giveaway
2:45pm: Pride & Joy plays 2nd set
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