Parade to pack in floats, balloons, dignitaries and performers

It takes place in Summerlin, but the entire Las Vegas Valley is invited to celebrate Independence Day at the 18th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, touted as Southern Nevada's largest and most colorful Fourth of July parade. More than 35,000 people are expected to view the free event.

Leigh-anne Mateyka and her family began attending last year. She has a boy, 2, and a girl, 4, and plans to take them again this year.

"It feels like hometown, like the parades I used to go in when I was a little kid in California, in Escondido," she said. "There was a Christmas parade every year, and I was a Girl Scout, and I was in that, and my grandfather was in the American Legion ... so it kind of has that same feel but a much better quality. ... It's really a high-quality parade, pretty impressive."

The parade is planned from 9 to 11 a.m. July 4, with the escort division, which includes dignitaries, veterans, police, firefighters and car clubs, planned to commence at 8:30 a.m. The public is encouraged to arrive early and be in place by 8 a.m.

The parade route will begin at the corner of Hillpointe Road and Hills Center Drive in The Trails village, and participants will travel south on Hills Center Drive toward the Village Center Circle roundabout before heading west on Trailwood Drive. It will end at the corner of Trailwood Drive and Spring Gate Lane.

The Desert Angels Gospel Choir is slated to kick things off by performing atop the Let Freedom Sing float. The parade is set to feature more than 60 entries, including traditional floats, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade-style giant helium balloons, marching bands and performing groups, and a variety of children's favorite storybook and cartoon characters. One example is the On the Road with Mario float ---- an 18-foot, animated-motion Mario Kart float featuring Mario, Luigi and friends.

The Springs Preserve is sponsoring the 15-foot Lorax balloon, which is making its national debut in Summerlin. It will be ushered along by a costumed mascot character provided by Universal Pictures, riding in a convertible. It is promised to also be accompanied by a veritable forest of Truffula trees, make-believe trees featured in "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss.

"It's a perfect fit for us," said Jim Johnson, public relations representative for the Springs Preserve. "Much like the Lorax, at the Preserve, we strive to ensure each person who visits understands the importance of a healthy and sustainable future."

Other new entries include Viva Las Vegas, a 20-foot inflatable of Elvis Presley; Boot Scootin' Boogie, a 30-foot cowboy boot inflatable surrounded by country line dancers; and Ben Franklin: Founding Father, a 10-foot inflatable of the man who helped form the United States. Another oversized inflatable is the 12-foot Death Star from "Star Wars."

Many traditional favorites are again part of the lineup, including Spirit of '76, Visions of Candyland, Under the Sea Jubilee, A Tribute to Lady Liberty and An All Star Salute to the Military.

Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin, said a number of companies stepped forward to take part this year.

"It's fair to say that in the last few years, the economic challenge that we've faced has made it a little more difficult for local businesses to take part in helping to sponsor the parade," he said. "But this year, we see a marked increase in participation and sponsorship."

The parade is coordinated by The Summerlin Council, the nonprofit arm of the Summerlin Community Association. Title sponsors for 2012 are Summerlin and Hughes Corp. QI Security Services is a premier sponsor.

For more information about the parade, call 341-5500 or visit

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 387-2949.

More Independence events
The Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., has scheduled Red, White & Tunes, an evening of family-friendly fun and patriotic music by the UNLV Community Band from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Guests are encouraged to bring low-back chairs or blankets for seating. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 4 or younger are free. Call 822-7700.
Five Station Casinos properties have scheduled fireworks shows produced by Grucci of New York after 9 p.m. July 4. The casinos are: Aliante Station, 7300 Aliante Parkway; Green Valley Ranch, 2300 Paseo Verde Parkway; Fiesta Rancho, 2400 N. Rancho Drive; Texas Station, 2101 Texas Star Lane; and Red Rock Resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd. Visit
The Las Vegas 51s have planned a Fireworks Extravaganza after the 7:05 p.m. game against the Tucson Padres July 4 at Cashman Field, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Tickets are $17.50 to $25.25. Call 798-7825.
Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, has planned a fireworks display from the rooftop of the Roman Tower at 9:15 p.m. July 7. The show is expected to be visible from the front fountain area along the Strip. Visit
Join the city of North Las Vegas at the annual Independence Day Jubilee from 6 to 9:30 p.m. July 3 at James Seastrand Park, 6330 Camino Eldorado. Gates open at 5 p.m. Admission is $4 per person. Advance wristbands are on sale at five for $15. Limited parking is available near the intersection of Revere Street and Centennial Parkway. This year's event is to include a fireworks display, kids corner and teen zone and live entertainment from Franky Perez and Sleepy Brown. Pets, glass bottles, umbrellas, umbrella chairs, personal fireworks, tents, tables and portable grills are prohibited. Call 633-2650 or visit
Watch NASCAR Super Late Models, Super Stocks and Bombers, USAC Focus Midgets and Young Guns, USLCI Legends Cars and Bandoleros and monster trucks at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 Las Vegas Blvd. North July 3. Gates open at 5 p.m., and racing starts at 7 p.m. Fireworks follow the races at about 10:15 p.m. Tickets are $8 to $20. Call 800-644-4444.
Knickerbocker Park, 10695 Dorrell Lane, is set to host an event featuring Tommy Rocker and his band and contests beginning at 6 p.m. and a 16-minute fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. July 4. Attendees are invited to bring picnics, chairs and coolers. No glass is allowed. Call 216-2020.
The 64th annual July 4 Boulder City Damboree is set to include a parade, carnival and entertainment. The parade planned down Nevada Highway is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Activities, including a water play zone for kids, a plane fly-over, midway booths, flag raising, games and contests, are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at parks throughout the city. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, 1650 Buchanan Blvd. Admission is free. Call 293-9256.
Swimmers can celebrate Independence Day with free admission July 4 at all 12 Clark County outdoor pools and water parks, and the Hollywood Recreation Center's skate park. Near the Summerlin area, this includes Desert Breeze Water Park, 8275 W. Spring Mountain Road. Call 455-7798.
Celebrate Independence Day in Henderson from 6 to 9 p.m. July 4 with live entertainment and a traditional fireworks display at Mission Hills Park, 551 E. Mission Drive. Nine high school bands are set to compete in a battle of the bands, and the Randy Anderson Band is set to perform at 6 p.m. The Henderson Symphony Orchestra is scheduled for 8 p.m., and fireworks are planned at 9 p.m. A shuttle will be offered from Foothill High School, 800 College Drive. Admission is free. Call 267-2171.
Enjoy a fireworks show over Lake Las Vegas at 9 p.m. Saturday. View the show from The Village, 30 Strada di Villaggio, in Henderson. Call 564-4785.
A fireworks display is slated at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Delmar Gardens of Green Valley, 100 Delmar Gardens Drive. Seating is set to begin at 8 p.m. Call 361-6111.