District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio is announcing plans to bring a Fourth of July parade to SF this year. Predictably, it’s in his district, but unpredictably, it’s five days before July 4, and overlapping with Pride Weekend.

San Francisco of course has a (famously foggy) fireworks show every year for the Fourth of July, but we have not had a proper July 4 parade in this town since way back in 1976. That will apparently change this year, as KGO reports that District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio and the community group Friends of Great Highway Park are planning to revive a July 4 parade in SF this year.


As you would figure, since it’s being planned by Engardio and a Friends of Great Highway Park, this Fourth of July parade will be in District 4 and on the Great Highway. But counterintuitively, this Fourth of July parade would not be on the Fourth of July, but instead five days beforehand, on Saturday June 29.

KGO frames this as an “effort to bring Fourth of July parade back to San Francisco,” but it appears to already be a done deal. Friends of Great Highway Park, a relatively new and seemingly nonpolitical community organization, has already posted the event on their website. The Great Highway is of course car-free on weekends, so road closures would not be necessary.

They’re calling it Independence Day Parade & Picnic, and it’s scheduled from 11 am to 1 pm on the Saturday before Independence Day.

"Our Fourth of July parade is on June 29 because it's a weekend and we want everyone to show up," Engardio told KGO. "It's new. You might have plans already for the Fourth, so this means you have no excuse, so come out and do July 4 on June 29."

“No excuse”? That also happens to be the Saturday of Pride Weekend, which the openly gay Engardio surely knows. Though the big Pride event on Saturday is the Dyke March (now that Pink Saturday is defunct), and there is also a D'Arcy Drollinger-hosted Oasis event that day at Civic Center Plaza called SF Pride Celebration Saturday, which is listed among the official Pride events. But notably, the Dyke March is not particularly family-friendly, and a D'Arcy Drollinger/Oasis event might not be either, so maybe Engardio feels he’s not stepping on anyone's toes.

"We're doing an early parade at noon that will be done by 1pm, so there's still plenty of time to attend Pride events later in the day," Engardio told SFNews via email. "We scheduled the parade on Saturday to avoid any conflict with the Pride parade on Sunday, which I will be in with my husband. Hopefully next year we can do the Fourth of July parade on July 4."

"For the first one this year, we felt the Saturday before July 4 would turn out the most people in case they already had plans for the actual holiday," he added. "I'm confident it will be so much fun that people will make the Great Highway Fourth of July parade their must-attend on July 4 next year!"

This Independence Day Parade & Picnic is deliberately family-friendly, much in line with other Friends of Great Highway Park events, which generally promote the ethos of a car-free Great Highway and activities for kids.

Friends of Great Highway Park describe the event as a “Lively parade showcasing our community's creativity and spirit - feel free to decorate your bikes, wagons, and strollers and join the fun!” The parade will also feature music, performers, games, and, per their website, “Free apple pie!”

Note: This post has been updated with comments from Supervisor Joel Engardio.

Related: Sutro Tower Will Have Red, White and Blue Lasers Shooting Through It This Week [SFNews]

Image: Bike decorated for July 4th parade (Getty Images)