This 4th of July parade was the best one that most people can remember. Under the direction of Rotary Club President Roger Klemm, this year’s 4th of July parade came to fruition and was wildly successful.
For a while it was even questionable that there would be a parade this year because of the mismanagement of the clubs affairs by the junior officers. Everything went wrong with the organization that has been an organization to look up to for decades. Like all service organizations, as the older experienced members died off, left the area or just didn’t want to continue, the organizations have begun to bring in younger members with no experience.
The Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills Rotary club was no exception. The last remaining members of the “old” group Michael Lucas who recently passed and Ellis Roberts who moved out of state, left the organization foundering. Michelle Ramage who went power mad and working behind the scenes almost destroyed the club.
Roger Klemm was elected last year and took over the parade logistics and made it happen. The club still has membership problems, but those left made the necessary sacrifices to continue the parade for its 37th year.
Our Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez came through with funds and licenses AND police security to protect the marchers and animals. Bicycle and motorcycle officers patrolled the parade route making sure that none of the dignitaries had water balloons thrown at them. Motor officer Flores did his best to glower at anyone that even hinted at having a hidden water balloon. One event that completely surprised the Rotary officers and the attending public, was the group of street racers that did wheelies that created so much smoke that it obscured Foothill Blvd. Although the LAPD looked annoyed, the parade went on to everyone’s delight.
The American Legion Post 377 had the longest, tallest float in the parade with over 20 people riding on it. After the parade, they offered free hot dogs and hamburgers to anyone that came to the Legion Hall.
Honorary Mayor John Clausen who had been snubbed by event providers, took it all in stride watching the parade from the McDonalds front lawn. EVERYONE had a great time. The parade has always had the firefighting equipment spray the crowds and amuse those who tried to see how soaked they could get. (See Page 8).
Next year should be even better. Oh, and yes, there was a fireworks display at the Verdugo Hills High School later in the evening.