Sunday, July 4, 2010

13th Annual Channel Islands Harbor 4th of July Children's Parade

Good old "June Gloom" was in full effect this morning as I climbed into our hot rod headed for the Channel Islands Harbor for one of the best parades I could ever be a part of. For those of you who are not familiar with "June Gloom" it is the Southern Californians term for a weather pattern that results in overcast skies with cool temperatures. During this time our sunny Southern California sky's are darkened with a thick marine layer and at times a heavy drizzle. But this parade is the type of parade where weather does not matter! It is all about the children and of course the 4th of July.

Children from all over the county decorate their bikes, scooters, and skate boards in a patriotic theme. Parents decorate their strollers and wagons, and Grandparents decorate their vintage cars and golf carts. I loved seeing all the red, white, and blue face paint, hair ties, flags, and clothing that everyone was fashioning. It is a fantastic family parade all centered around children.

I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people today, one of which was the Grand Marshal of the parade, Taylor Penny. She is currently the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme's Youth of the Year. Taylor has had her fair share of struggles, from family economic issues that forced them to move multiple times to her teen sister getting pregnant and dropping out of high school. Despite all of this she has been able to stay positive and strive to do great things. She runs varsity track, is actively involved in ASB, and is a competitive cheerleader with the California All Stars. She participates in the Keystone leadership group and volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club several days a week as a tutor, mentor and administrative assistant. She is a great roll model and an example of an extraordinary young woman. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me Taylor, I am blessed to have met you and look forward to hearing about all the great things you will do in the future.

The Derby Darlings attended the parade, and they are always a crowd favorite. It was nice to visit with the men and women of our Armed Forces who walked the parade route to celebrate this special day. I want to thank all of those individuals who have fought for our freedom and who still continue to do so. I am proud to be an American and am grateful for all that you do.

Happy Birthday America!

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