Canoga Park, a neighborhood along Los Angeles's western municipal boundary, observes Memorial Day with a parade that, as CBS Los Angeles writes, "gives you a taste of what it might be like to live in a simpler area of the world." The late May observance commemorates American servicemen and women who died while serving in the military. Canoga Park's remembrance tradition for Memorial Day includes a community-wide parade.
The Canoga Park/West Hills Chamber of Commerce coordinates the annual Memorial Day Parade, which takes place on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day. The Parade and Celebration in the Park takes place thanks to the efforts of community volunteers and sponsors, which include the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council, the Centurian Club and various merchants and area businesses. In 2010, the Chamber of Commerce was forced to cancel the parade, whose origins date back to the 1940s, due to the economic downturn, which made financing the parade impossible. However, the parade was subsequently funded and reinstated.
The parade route takes marchers on a 1-mile parade path, beginning at the corner of Sherman Way and Owensmouth Avenue in Canoga Park. The marchers proceed east on Sherman Way to DeSoto Avenue and then turn south to walk along Desoto until they reach Hart Street. The parade ends in Quimby Park.
The parade includes a wide variety of community participants and groups. School bands, ROTC units, fraternal organizations, scouts and color guards march together. Some participants ride horses or ride in open convertibles. Many people enter their vintage or classic car in the parade. Individual walkers accompany the parade in costume or uniform and planes fly over the parade route. Some community businesses and civic groups enter floats in the Canoga Park parade.
Finale and Festival
The parade ends at 1:30 p.m. in Quimby Park on DeSoto Avenue between Vanowen Street and Sherman Way. A free community celebration awaits the parade participants and other community residents in the park. The festival features music, food vendors and other entertainment.
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