JULIAN–The town celebrates the Fourth of July this year with a parade saluting the gold miners who founded Julian and a distinguished Medal of Honor winner who had made the town his home for the past few years.
Descendants of Drury Bailey, Julian’s founder who laid out the town and worked several gold mines in the hillsides surrounding town, will ride in the beautifully renovated Mack Stage that carried passengers between San Diego and Julian in the early 1900s. They include grandson Richard Bailey and his family, Elizabeth Coleman Weaver, great-granddaughter of Fred Coleman, who found the first gold, and Paul and June Howard, grandson of F. L. Blanc, who constructed many of the buildings that the parade passes on Main Street.
This year’s Grand Marshal is Vietnam war hero John Baca, who received a Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1971 for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” during the Vietnam War. He also received a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Four bands will march down Main Street this year, more than in any previous parade. Vintage World War II aircraft will scream through the morning sky before a cannon shot marks the step out. The parade will include floats, fire engines, mock old western gun fights, Miss Julian and her court, Boy Scouts, Pearl Harbor veterans, Tribal Mountain Gypsies, Doves and Desperadoes, and more.
When the parade steps out from Julian High School on July 4, visitors and locals will be lining Main Street, so get there early and enjoy the pre-parade program that traditionally includes patriotic speeches and music, a mock gunfight, and the vintage airplane flyover.
The festivities continue following the parade as well. Stop in for a barbecue at the American Legion, bands will be playing all afternoon, and many of the shops will be offering holiday specials and discounts.
For information on the parade visit, www.julianparade.com, or contact the Julian Chamber of Commerce at (760) 765-1857.