Every year, early birds place lawn chairs in place along the parade route by 9 a.m., with red- white-and-blue banners, flags and bunting everywhere. The annual parade in Seaside brings civic groups together and thousands of visitors for a march down Broadway.
City Councilor Tita Montero inquired about this year’s plan at Seaside’s April 8 meeting.
“I haven’t heard anything about any activities surrounding what’s going on to put on, manage, the Fourth of July Parade,” Montero said. “Fourth of July is right around the corner.”
The annual event is a Seaside tradition, Gini Dideum, an organizer of the parade for the past three years, added, kicking off the city’s July 4 celebration. “We’ve been lucky enough to have the drum and bugle corps for the last couple of years. Civic groups, all sorts of different interests — it’s just a lot of fun.”
Dideum, Fred Loser and Darren Gooch of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District staged the 2018 event.
Last year’s parade had about 65 entrants, she said.
While the parade details have yet to be officially announced, the parade is on track, this year’s organizers, Gooch and Brian Owen of the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, said Monday.
“SEPRD is working with the Chamber of Commerce to keep the parade running smoothly,” Gooch said.
Owen said organizers are working on ways to better communicate with event attendees, both participants and attendees. Logistics remain to be hammered out, he added. “The website will be updated by the end of this week and we will be reaching out to past participants soon to let them know when registration for 2019 has opened.”
Funding has been a challenge, he said. With a total cost of about $55,000 for the day's events — including not only the parade, but fireworks, staff, security, sanitation and insurance — Owen is looking to increase donations and grants from individuals and agencies.
Donations from the business community total about $20,000, with another $25,000 from a tourism grant from the Seaside Visitors Bureau. That leaves a shortfall met by donations from individuals.
This year, an app-based tool will enable the public to donate online.
Organizers are also looking into ways to improve the staging area and sign-up process, Owen said.
If anyone would like to volunteer to help set up, man a shift or help clean up, contact the chamber, Owen said.