Best Independence Day Parade 

Alameda Mayor's Fourth of July Parade

Alameda has a slower pace, an old-fashioned feel, and a patriotic past, so it's no surprise it can still pull off an authentic Independence Day parade. Now in its 27th year, this one offers homemade floats, more than a dozen marching bands, equestrian units, and loads of folks in uniforms, from Girl Scouts to a few surviving World War I vets. Of course, local pols participate, not to be confused with clowns throwing candy to the crowd. The spectacle starts at 10 a.m. by the Longs Drugs parking lot at 2314 Santa Clara Avenue and passes through downtown, where parade-watchers bring lawn chairs or grab curb space to take in the action. (The route takes the patriotic revelers down Park Street, right on Otis Drive, right on Grand Street, right on Central Ave., and finally, right on Webster Street, ending around 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Webster and Lincoln Ave.)

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