By RoeL Godinez
This years Oceanside Independence Parade was a hit! The annual event spanned across Coast Highway in downtown Oceanside which boasted a handsome crowd of spectators of all ages on one of the finest summer days so far this year. The 70 degree weather was heartily met by gentle winds that carried the scent of breakfast being served in the restaurants that lined the streets.
This years theme recognized our “Hometown Heroes”, three retired Oceanside residents who greatly impacted our city. One such hero is Dr. Duane Coleman, former superintendent of the Oceanside Unified School District, another Hero is Jim Wood, who served for 31 years as an Oceanside Police Officer and later became Mayor for 16 years, and finally, Eileen Turk, the Oceanside Parks and Recreation Director of 33 years. The recognition that they received was plentiful and well received by each of them.
This parade is well known for honoring the many veterans who have served in our armed forces. This was accomplished fantastically by showcasing many Veteran support groups, organizations, and most importantly, the Veterans themselves. The Veterans, many of whom served in the Vietnam war, traveled up Coast Highway shaking hands with crowd members while enjoying the applause. Local political figures rode alongside them, sitting tall upon their own open fancy vehicles. Patriotism was on display with the hundreds of American flags that fluttered in the pleasant breeze. In short, Oceanside demonstrated its love for our great nation and its people.
There was something for everyone to delight in at the parade. There were cartwheeling clowns, baton throwers, pageant winners, and horse trotters. Many local children’s organizations like the Boy Scouts, Little League, and The Boys and Girls Club flexed their recently won awards. There were also several daring acts, such as the sparing of a martial arts group, a woman juggling a flaming baton, and the riotous roller derby girls who continuously hopped over each other. This year sported an uncountable number of interesting vehicles ranging from sports cars, hot rods, motorcycles, dune buggies, and a giant boom box car. No parade would be complete without marching bands booming their drums and fire trucks blowing their horns, both of which were plentiful.
To be sure, this is a major event for Oceanside. This annual parade shows what the city has grown to become and continues to strengthen the community and local businesses. Any event that can be so successfully executed such as this is a great boost to our civic pride.