Residents gear up for Fourth festivities

Parade to start at 1 p.m., followed by picnic

Rancho Santa Fe residents will celebrate the Fourth of July in their usual, festive way with the 28th annual parade and picnic.

The parade forms in the Rancho Santa Fe Association and Community Center parking lots on Avenida de Acacias at around 12:25 p.m., and participants will step off the curb at about 1 p.m. and head down Paseo Delicias.

Get there early to reserve a spot to view the action, organizer Chaco Clotfelter said.

"It's the same cast of characters every year, " said Clotfelter of the honor guard, vintage cars, clowns and local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts that march down the village street.

Clotfelter said they have done what they can to avoid the parade becoming "commercialized" - there are no business-oriented floats, mostly just children riding decorated bikes or horses.

Pete McArthur, the community center's energetic director of programs, will serve as the parade's emcee.

A highlight of the parade was always Richard Scuba, one of the parade founders. dressed up as Uncle Sam.

Scuba passed away in November 2007 at age 64 and that year was his last to play Uncle Sam.

"We always show up," Scuba told the Record in 2007. "At 11 a.m. everything is so quiet. We wonder if everybody is going to come and they always do."

"He really chaired it and made it what it is today," Clotfelter said of Scuba.

Scuba was part of the parade-founding Rancho Santa Fe Polo Club, who actually never played a lick of polo. The Polo Club was just a name a group of Ranch dads like Gordie Bartow and Dave Moon came up with as a joke, to reflect the Rancho Santa Fe stereotype.

Following the parade, there will be a concert by the Coastal Communities Concert Band at 1:30 p.m. and a picnic. The Rancho Santa Fe Community Center and Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club will sell hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and refreshments, but people are encouraged to bring their own food as well.

Organizers remind parade marchers that there is no candy throwing from vehicles. They also warn that dogs' paws can be burned on hot asphalt.

   
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