We love a parade

If there’s one gathering that embodies the community spirit of Sonoma, it’s the annual Fourth of July parade and celebration. This year’s fun falls on Friday, with the parade around the Plaza (starting at Spain and First Street East) stepping off at 10 a.m. The theme is “Saluting the Arts in Sonoma Valley,” and the Grand Marshals will be past recipients of the City of Sonoma’s Treasure Artist award.

The Plaza party, with its food (including hot dogs and hamburgers, of course) and game booths, goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live entertainment starts at 11:30 a.m. with a the Hometown Band. A patriotic ceremony will honor parade dignitaries at 11:45 a.m. At 1 p.m., live music resumes with the Never Fear Band, followed at 3 p.m. by Tudo Bem, the band led 2013 Sonoma Valley Treasure Artist Dave Aguilar.

It’s all produced by, and a benefit for, another local treasure, the Sonoma Community Center, which has a new rule this year. No set-ups (lawn chairs, blankets, space holders, etc.) will be allowed until 6 a.m. that morning. Items left unattended along the parade route are subject to removal.

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