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Best Way to See the Best 4th of July Parade 

Alameda Mayor's Fourth of July Parade R.A.C.E.

Alameda's Fourth of July Parade is renowned in the East Bay, and not just for its floats, but also for its length. Alameda natives like to joke that half of the island city's 75,000 residents are in it and the other half watch. This may almost be true: It's the second-longest July Fourth parade in the nation and the longest parade route at nearly four miles, making it akin to a festive death march for its costumed participants. It's not surprising, then, that the parade goes on for hours, with the last floats still waiting to take off from Park Street as the first floats finish at Webster Street across town. Fortunately for parade-lovers who have lives to get back to and parties to attend, there is a way to see the parade without spending hours in a curbside cross between Norman Rockwell and Franz Kafka. Sign up for the 5K charity preparade run that follows the parade route. At the end, turn around and start walking back to the beginning. You'll catch the parade mid-route, experiencing it in fast-forward. By the time you're back at the starting line, the final floats are taking off, you've gotten in some brisk exercise while helping the homeless, and you've saved a couple hours of your life.

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