Come see the fun at the Fourth Of July Parade
With a Station 33 fire truck and Westview ROTC Honor Guard, backed up by the five high school bands of PUSD, beauty queens, and a swirl of dignitaries, RB's Spirit of the Fourth parade will step off smartly at 3:30 p.m. on July 4th.
Crowds line the streets of downtown Rancho Bernardo on July 4th for the annual Independence Day parade.
If you would like to join the procession, click here to download the 2019 Parade Entry Form.
Here are two images of the Parade Route for 2019. It rarely changes from year to year.
These fine looking horses pulling the Rancho Bernardo History Museum's "Mud Wagon" filled with celebrities were the only horses in the 2018 parade. (Photo courtesy of George Leitner)
Our 2019 Parade Grand Marshals are past Spirit of the Fourth Presidents:
Consistent with the Theme of the 2018 Celebration, "Honoring Our Korean War Veterans", the Spirit of the Fourth Committee has chosen two Korean War veterans as Parade Grand Marshals.
Lieutenant Colonel Harry Hodges,
United States Army (Retired)
Harry was one of the many who served as "Boots on the Ground" during the Korean Conflict.
Harry served in the Merchant Marine during World War II, carrying troops and supplies across the Pacific. He was discharged by the US Coast Guard which supervised the Merchant Marine during time of war. Upon the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Harry was called to active duty service in the US Army and assigned to the 578th Combat Engineers Battalion, 40th Infantry Division in Korea. The mission, in advance of the US front lines, was to conduct vital engineering feats such as building roads, bridges and landing strips. He was responsible for developing training programs for using explosives and clearing mine fields. Mine clearing undoubtedly saves many lives.
These Engineer forces frequently came under bitter enemy fire and suffered many casualties as a result. Harry was perilously close to these actions and saw many of his comrades fall. He was fortunate to survive unwounded. He received a battlefield commission in 1952.
In 1954 he was assigned to the famed 82nd Airborne Division as a platoon leader, company executive officer and Division Training Officer. He reports that he has jumped out of every US Army airplane capable of supporting airborne troops with over 500 jumps to his credit. He later served two one-year tours in Vietnam and then was ordered back to the 82nd airborne division. In 1962 he received the Itschner Award for being Commander of the best engineering company in the US Army, worldwide! He retired in 1974 with nearly 30 years of active duty service to his country.
Captain Royce Williams,
United States Navy (Retired)
Royce was a carrier based fighter pilot during the Korean Conflict. He represents the air and sea forces dedicated to the US effort in Korea.
On 18 November 1952, Royce was launched with a group of four F9F-5 Panther jet aircraft of Fighter Squadron 781 from the deck of the US Aircraft Carrier, USS ORISKANY (CV-34) off the coast of North Korea. This was supposed to be a routine Combat Air Patrol flight. Shortly after takeoff, he was notified that a flight of seven MiG-15s with Russian pilots had launched from Vladivostok and were headed to intercept his flight. This information was classified above TOP SECRET and was not declassified until over 50 years later to protect intelligence sources and methods.
Due to circumstances beyond his control, he found himself alone in the Korean airspace with the seven MiGs. During a 35 minute dog fight engagement, he shot down at least three and probably four of the Russian piloted MIGs and sent the rest back home with their tail between their legs.
After a truly heroic demonstration of airmanship, he was somehow able to return and land on the ORISKANY flight deck where the flight deck crew counted 263 bullet holes in his aircraft and most of his control surfaces shot away or disabled. His body, miraculously, was not among the surfaces hit. Royce went on to finish a distinguished career in the US Navy, including over 100 sorties in carrier aviation in the Vietnam War.
Following are slide shows of the 2017 and 2018 Parades taken at the staging area before the parade began and at the Bernardo Center Drive VIP reviewing stand as all of the entries paraded by:
Here is a short slide show of most of the entries in the 2016 parade:
The photos in this slide show are available in our Photo Gallery here on Shutterfly.
Wheels on Parade
An important part of the Parade is the "Wheels on Parade" Contest held in the parking lot next to Round Table Pizza in the Rancho Bernardo Plaza. Judging is at 3:00 PM. The flyer with details is here. The contest is open to those of any age, but this is a great chance for the youngsters to have a chance to participate on a trike, or razor or on foot. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the event coordinator, Stephanie Wiesenfarth at 858-485-5284 or 858-692-0799 (Cell).