Fill up the cooler and lather on the sunscreen. The 18th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade is set to start at 9 a.m. July 4.
The parade is slated to begin at the corner of Hillpointe Road and Hills Center Drive in The Trails village of Summerlin. Participants will travel south on Hills Center Drive toward the Village Center Circle roundabout before heading west on Trailwood Drive. The parade will end at the corner of Trailwood Drive and Spring Gate Lane.
More than 35,000 spectators are expected to view the 70-plus floats, Macy’s-style giant helium balloons, bands, performance groups and other entrants. This year’s parade is expected to have 2,500 people in it, including participants on floats and those in the marching bands and performing groups. Setting up the parade requires about 500 volunteers.
There are 79 scheduled entries –– 60 in the main parade and 19 in the escort parade that is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. The escort parade includes elected officials and groups, such as the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the American Legion Post 76, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, Las Vegas Elements All-Star Cheerleading, the Sun City Dance Company, Marine Corps League Detachment No. 186 and the Palo Verde Honor Guard. Also planned are the Patriotic Peddlers entry, recognizing how the parade got its start: a small group of neighborhood children on their decorated bicycles.
There will be no food vendors, so families may want to bring refreshments. Glass containers are discouraged.
This year, several new entries were added, including the “Colors of the Wind”/”Pocahontas”-inspired float, a 30-foot inflatable Thomas the Tank Engine helium balloon, a 35-foot Very Hungry Caterpillar balloon and a 65-foot inflatable brachiosaurus, sponsored by the Springs Preserve.
Other new entries include an inflatable Mr. Potato Head and the “Star Wars” Death Star balloon, accompanied by stormtroopers. More than 16,000 cubic feet of helium will be used for the more than 25 giant inflatables.
One of the new float additions is the Liberty Belle: A Showboat Celebration.
Where most floats are sponsored by a company or an organization, such as Rachel’s Kitchen, Par 3 Landscape & Maintenance and Design Works Custom Painting Inc., the Liberty Belle is sponsored by one person, Ashlee Hall. Hall is an independent representative at Country Financial.
The Liberty Belle is being presented on behalf of the Injured Police Officers Fund, which is run by police officers or former police officers. The fund helps the family deal with the financial realities of losing a loved one in the line of duty. Two representatives will ride on the float.
The float cost Hall $3,000. Hall said she has worked with the group for about a year and has a lot of clients who are police officers.
“... This is for funds that go to families when they’re injured, and so that’s why I’m sponsoring it on their behalf,” she said.
The Liberty Belle will include a walking escort of about 50 uniformed police officers from various divisions. Arrangements are being made to see if McGruff the Crime Dog can be included. There may also be police K-9 dogs.
Minddie Lloyd, coordinator for the fund, said that it has never had a float in a parade before.
“We are looking forward to engaging the community, which is always good for our organization,” she said. “The only time a lot of the community hears about us is when we have a fallen officer.”
Hall began planning the float in February. All it took was one call to the Summerlin Council, and it set her up with the parade committee, which provided a list of possible floats. Hall wanted a patriotic, all-American theme and was shown pictures of the available ones. There were about a dozen floats from which to choose. Some were push-style, which she and the charity didn’t want. The next criterion was how much room each float allotted for people to ride atop it. The Liberty Belle won out. It comes pre-decorated and will be pulled by a vehicle.
“The Summerlin Council really took care of all of it,” Hall said. “They’ve got it totally planned out. They make it easy to set it up.”
Hall and the Injured Police Officers Fund then reached out to police organizations, asking them to take part. They also invited the officers’ family members.
“We wanted it to be more personal,” Hall said. “I have a lot of friends who are police officers ... I think it’ll be neat to see the community honoring the police who protect us,”
For more information, call 702-341-5500.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.