Grab Your Chair, Hat and Mask: July 4 Promises Safety, Fun for All

(Contributed Photo)
Michael Beller, who is walking in the parade with Orinda Library staff and volunteers with Friends of the Library, is patriotic from head to toe in his ‘just for this parade’ attire.

    Look left. Look Right. Everywhere you look, Orinda Village has the aura and feel of normalcy as it prepares for the annual July 4 Best Hometown Parade, which kicks off Sunday morning with the traditional flag-raising ceremony at 9 a.m. The parade starts in the Theatre District at 11 a.m., culminating on the Village side around noon.
    Parade viewers may line the mile-long route, maintaining safe distances from other patrons, or watch live stream online at, which starts at 10:30 a.m. “The committee highly recommends those not vaccinated wear a mask and suggest all others do so as well to protect the unvaccinated,” said Diane Lautz, an Orinda Association (OA) board member and co-chair of the parade. “Patriotic masks will be available during the day’s events.”
    Some things old, some things different, some things new. All in red, white and blue!
    Long-time favorite bands, including The Orinda All-Volunteer Marching Band, two New Orleans-style brass bands and the popular bagpipes will march along the parade route, joined by other musical entries.
    What’s new? A giant log hauled on a lowbed trailer and a reconfigured, former fire truck with a whole new purpose.
    Returning are the bright and shiny classic cars which will wend their way through the village along with ladies on very tall stilts. There’ll be sirens blaring and lights flashing for sure, along with floats, former military members from VFW #8063 and dignitaries who serve the community.
    It will be hard to miss Library Branch Manager, Michael Beller. Just look for the man in the stars and stripes walking alongside library staff and volunteers with the decorated book cart! He said, “Marching in the parade is a great opportunity for us to remind everyone the library is open and to celebrate Independence Day with our community.”
    Need an early morning workout? Participate in the annual two-mile Run/Walk for a Reason in person between 9 and 10:30 a.m. or virtually. Visit for details.
    Love music? Head to the Community Center, near the Friends of the Library book sale, to enjoy the sounds of the Lewiston Jazz Band beginning at 10 a.m. Want more music? The Three Day Weekend band performs following the parade in the Orinda Park gazebo, a perfect place for an old-fashioned picnic with family and friends – don’t forget the blanket as you spread out!
    The parade is organized by The Orinda Association (OA), celebrating its 75th year. Organizers considered a multitude of patriotic-themed scenarios as COVID restrictions continually changed. “Our community is ready for some normalcy and organizers will provide as much back-to-normal fun as allowed by all federal, state and county COVID guidelines,” said Lautz.
    To participate, volunteer or donate to support the 2021 Best Hometown Parade via gofundme, visit

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