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Published June 21st, 2023
Plans in place for another festive Fourth in Lamorinda
Last year's Fourth of July parade in Orinda featured marching bands, horse-drawn wagons, stilt walkers and much more. Photos Sora O'Doherty

The 36th annual Orinda Fourth of July parade has the theme of Earth Kindness, and the Grand Marshal will be The Friends of the Orinda Nature Area, who recently won the William Penn Mott Jr. environmental award for 2023. The parade is put on every year by the Orinda Association, with the help of the city of Orinda and many, many volunteers. In fact, the OA is still looking for volunteers to help with the parade this year.
The competition to design a T-shirt for the parade was won by Wagner Ranch fifth-grader Aavya Khanna (now a rising sixth-grader.) T-shirts bearing her design can be ordered from the Orinda Association. The design in red, white and blue, depicts Theatre Square and elements of Independence Day and is printed on light blue fabric.
Following the pattern of previous years, the event will begin with a pancake breakfast on the Library Plaza at 7:30 a.m. At 7:55 a.m. there will be a flag raising, followed at 8 a.m. by a fun run to raise funds for and awareness of the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Foundation.
At 9 a.m. there will be an Orinda library book sale, and the parade itself will start at 10 a.m. on the Theatre District side of town. The parade route will lead through the Theatre District and wend its way to Orinda Village. Parade participants will stop and perform musical numbers and provide other entertainment.
Favorite marching bands will be returning, including St. Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band, MJ Brass Boppers and the Orinda All-Volunteer Marching Band. The popular stilt walkers will also participate in the parade.
The entertainment will continue in Orinda Community Park from 11:30 a.m. onward. A new addition to the parade day celebrations, Taste of the World Market will be providing food trucks this year, and beer booths will be provided by the Tabor Sister City Foundation and Orinda Rotary in the park.
The four food trucks will be: Golden Gate Gyro, serving Middle Eastern cuisine including halal gyros; El Gran Taco Loco, serving Mexican?food, including tacos, burritos, and more; Ike's Grill. serving burgers, chicken, sides, and more; and Ceviche & Co. serving fresh ceviche, chicken, steak skewers, and more. Families may bring picnics into the park to enjoy rock and roll band Tin Man performing.
On the sidewalk in front of the Community Center, 15 nonprofit organizations will have tables to introduce the public to their work. These will include the Orinda Nature Area, Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe, Orinda Network for Education, Orinda Rotary, Orinda Women's Club, Republic Services/Recycle Smart, the Parks & Rec Foundation, Orinda Watch, Orinda Firewsie Council and the Art in Public Places Committee, among others.
The fun run, formerly known as Haley's Run for a Reason. includes both a 5-mile run or a 2-mile walk. The 2-mile walk is paved and stroller/dog friendly. The 5-mile run continues on from the 2-mile course onto East Bay Municipal Utility District trails, usually only accessible by permit.
The Celebration of Independence Day will also be happening at the Moraga Commons Park, at the corner of St. Mary's Road and Moraga Road, beginning at 11 a.m. with the Dog Parade (registration is at the bandshell). There will be Community Booths, Inflatable Jumpies, and Family Activities between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food, wine and beer booths will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Later in the evening, on stage at the bandshell, the National Anthem and Mayor's Welcome starts at 6:45 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. concert performed by House Rockers. With an estimated time of 9:30 p.m., the magnificent fireworks display is expected to begin.
The community is hoping to raise $30,000 to defray the cost of the fireworks. Those who wish to support the fireworks can Buy-a-Rocket at www.moragarec.com.

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