Volunteers for the Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade were putting finishing touches on their floats Monday morning in preparation for the Fourth of July.
Thursday’s parade will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a Cheers to 25 Years float, featuring the Desert Angels gospel choir and a confetti display, according to volunteer Lily Lin. Other floats are set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the 50th anniversary of “Sesame Street.”
“Every year we add new elements,” Lin said. “There’s a lot of planning that goes on to make the parade feel fresh, and we manage to do it.”
Under a large white tent at Trails Park, volunteers tested floats with mechanical elements, such Aladdin’s Magic Carpet and Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday. Other new themed floats this year include Soaring with Dumbo, The Wiz: Ease on Down the Road and Fortnite Dance Challenge.
A “flashback” float, Undersea Jubilee, was selected by residents in an online survey. The float was retired in 2013 after four years in the parade, but it will be brought out once more, according to Downtown Summerlin’s director of marketing, Halee Mason.
Residents may recognize other returning floats Thursday , including The Greatest Show Circus Extravaganza, The Fourth Awakens, ’80s Flashback and Moana’s Ocean Journey, which features a water display.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, U.S. Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., and members of the Las Vegas City Council will join the parade, along with Gov. Steve Sisolak and first lady Kathy Sisolak.
The parade also will include a Salute to the Military float featuring service members from Nellis Air Force Base. Members of the Marine Corps League and Veterans of Foreign Wars will also participate. Marching bands from Clark and Palo Verde high schools, Guan Strong Lion Arts traditional Chinese dancers and the Danza del Carrizo Native American group are set to perform along the parade route.
Children on bikes accompanied by an Uncle Sam character on stilts will lead the parade as they did in the inaugural one, which Mason said will reinforce the parade’s roots in the community. Another Uncle Sam character will serve as the parade’s mascot, dressed in a silver suit to celebrate its silver anniversary.
“Looking back on how much the parade has grown over 25 years, we’re celebrating that growth and the growth of the community of Las Vegas,” Mason said. “This is just one representation of that.”
The parade begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday on Hills Center Drive, moving south around Village Center Circle and ending on Trailwood Drive. With more than 40,000 attendees expected along the route, residents are advised to arrive early, bring water and wear sunscreen.