Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Parade Showcases History & Future

 Parades have been a part of San Bernardino’s history for at least 100 years, as the City held one then to celebrate its Centennial.  As part of the 2010 Bicentennial Celebration, a parade will take place in downtown San Bernardino on Saturday, May 22.

What would a parade be without horses? The Bicentennial Celebration Parade, Saturday, May 22 will include horse-drawn vehicles and an equestrian riders’ group.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (April 20, 2010) A parade through downtown San Bernardino next month will showcase the city’s past, present and future, as envisioned by a diverse group of residents.

“We have more than 80 entries,” said Jane Sneddon, chair of the Bicentennial Celebration’s Parade Committee. “These include marching bands and other marching units, floats, historic re-enactors, equestrian units and classic vehicles.”

The parade commemorates San Bernardino’s 200th birthday. It begins at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 22 at Seventh and E streets.

Two of the entries date back to San Bernardino’s first century. One of them is a buggy that also appeared in the 1910 Centennial Parade; the other is an 1890 horse-drawn wagon.

Other entries are decidedly more futuristic.

“Palm Elementary School is creating a float depicting a city of the future, made entirely from recycled materials,” Sneddon said. “The vision these young students have of the future is very exciting.”

“Warm Springs Elementary is also looking at the future,” she said. “Its float will have kindergarteners dressed in graduation robes and clothes they may wear in the professions they aspire to when they grow up.”

Schools, community organizations and businesses are also working on floats that represent the past and the present, showing off the programs they now offer, and historic recreations of the city’s past.

The National Orange Show Foundation will have a float showing how it has influenced San Bernardino over the years. The National Orange Show first formed in 1910.

San Bernardino Adult School’s float will be wishing San Bernardino a Happy 200th Birthday, and notes that it is celebrating its 90th birthday this year.

The parade includes marching bands from five San Bernardino high schools. These are San Bernardino, Cajon, Pacific, San Gorgonio and Arroyo Grande. In addition to these bands and various school floats, schools and youth organizations are participating with marching units such as drill teams, drum lines, choirs and mascots.

San Bernardino High School, the city’s oldest high school, will be especially well represented in the parade. Besides the band and another marching unit provided by its ROTC Club, it is represented by three of the two dozen floats entered in the parade, and special appearances by its Mr. Cardinal and Miss Cardinal.

The school’s foreign language department will enter its own float, comparing San Bernardino to a city in Switzerland. The San Bernardino High School alumni association will showcase distinguished graduates of the school.

A float entered by San Bernardino High School itself bringing up the rear of the parade depicts ethnic cultures from around the globe – all of which have had students at San Bernardino High School.

Cultural diversity is also apparent in the entries of various city groups. Floats from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Jewish Community of San Bernardino, the Black Culture Foundation, Aquinas High School and the LDS Church will all appear in the parade, each depicting what these groups have brought to the city.

Before and after the parade, a celebration takes place at Meadowbrook Park, starting at noon and lasting until 9 p.m. There will be food and merchandise vendors, a mini-carnival and entertainment provided by the Redlands 4th of July Band, San Bernardino High School Jazz Band and The Main Street Community Band.  After the parade, floats will be on display at the park.

Other upcoming Bicentennial Celebration Events:

On May 1, the San Bernardino Symphony will perform a “Celebrate America” concert at the California Theatre of Performing Arts in honor of the city’s birthday as well as for the centennial of the Community Hospital of San Bernardino.

More music will highlight May 7 and 8 with an adaptation of Mozart’s opera “Cossi Fan Tutte” at the University’s P.A. Recital Hall.

May 8 and 9, the celebration debuts Railroad Days at the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum at the historic Depot. “We’ll be bringing in steam locomotive Santa Fe  3750,” Cohn says, “which actually used to serve the city.”

May 15th will launch a “countdown” celebration with an elaborate gala at the National Orange Show Events Center, with the 16th capped by a Bicentennial Mayor’s Run and Youth Safety Expo at Arrowhead Credit Union Park and a Festival of Faiths at the Western Region Little League Stadium.

There will be a Centennial Monument rededication as well as a Bicentennial Monument dedication on May 20 at Inland Center Drive and “I” Street.

The Bicentennial festivities continue on July 4th at the 66ers Stadium in the Arrowhead Credit Union Park, the 4th of July Extravaganza with a fireworks display unlike any the city has previously seen.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous, the Western Regional Little League Tournament and other events taking place in the latter part of 2010 will also feature a tie-in to San Bernardino’s Bicentennial, keeping the celebration alive throughout the year.

Rabbi Hillel Cohn is the chairman of the Bicentennial Celebration Committee, and Erin Brinker is the chair of its Public Relations & Marketing and Independence Day Extravaganza committees. Other Bicentennial Celebration Committee members are Jim Smith (chair of the Community Engagement committee), Cheryl Brown (chair of the Youth Council, Intergovernmental and Arts committees), Beverly Bird (chair of the Legend of the Arrowhead committee), Steven Shaw (chair of the History committee), David Smith (chair of the Finance committee), Jane Sneddon (chair of the Parade committee) and Martha Pinkney (chair of the Gala committee.) The mayor and members of the San Bernardino Common Council appointed these members.

Additional community volunteers who have taken on leadership of other committees are: The Rev. Petra Malleis-Sternbrrg (Festival of Faiths), Edward Martinez (Leadership Cabinet), Peggi Hazlett (Mayor’s Run), Dr. Charles “Skip” Herbert (Coloring Books for Schools), Karen Blanco (Media) and Dameron Communications (Public Relations.)

For more information, contact Erin Brinker at (951) 323-9337 or go to