Information about parade route, order, and judging pertains to the traditional in-person Fourth of July event.
ROUTE AND ORDER
Parade Route: The parade starts at the intersection of Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues and travels South on Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue, then turns right on Maple Avenue to Lincoln Avenue where the parade disbands. Note that this route forms a U which brings the parade back to within just a few blocks of its starting point - it is just 2 blocks along Philadelphia Avenue from Carroll Avenue at the Firehouse to Maple Avenue at the Municpal Building. This route was chosen for several reasons. First, it makes it easy for participants to get back to their cars when the parade is over. Second, it provides a convenient arrangement of streets on which to assemble the parade. Third, it provides a good location for the reviewing stand, conveniently located directly in front of the Municipal Building.
Assembly Areas: The dignitaries assemble at the Municipal Building and the parade cars on Philadelphia Avenue in front of the Library. This allows the cars to load the dignitaries and head off the start of the parade at Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues, just 3 blocks away. All other parade units assemble on the streets near that location.
Divisions: The parade is divided into 7 divisions, the first being primarally the dignitaries and active duty military, reserve and national guard units, and veterans organizations, who are given prominence in honor of their history of securing and defending our freedom. The other 6 divisions are made up of all the other participants. Their order is determined by an attempt to balance a number of sometimes conflicting factors. These include the desire that any children who participate be placed as close to the front of the parade as possible to minimize the time they must wait their turn to march and to allow them to see as much of the parade as possible. We also try to put animal groups (dogs, horses, etc.) as close to the front of the parade as possible to get them out of the heat as soon as we can. Bands and other musical groups are spaced throughout the parade and we try to keep them separated with non-musical groups so they can be heard. The remaining groups are positioned to spread out the most interesting and colorful groups so that the entire parade is entertaining and enjoyable.
Getting the Parade in Order: Each parade unit receives directions in the mail as to where to report for their assigned divisions. The division directors are responsible for assuring that their units line up in the order of march. Then, when the parade begins, each division is positioned in the assembly area so that it simply falls into line behind the preceeding division.
Reviewing Stand: The reviewing stand is located directly in front of the Municipal Building. It is solely for the use of the dignitaries, our invited guests. These dignitaries include the Grand Marshal, incumbents who hold public office and represent the City of Takoma Park at various levels of government, and the heads of our local colleges, public schools and the Washington Adventist Hospital.
Road Closings and Detours: Carroll Avenue from Lincoln Avenue to the DC line, Ethan Allen Avenue from Jackson Avenue to Carroll Avenue, Carroll Street from Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue, and Maple Avenue from Carroll Street to Ritchie Avenue make up the parade route and are closed off at 9:00 AM. Philadelphia Avenue from Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue is also closed off at 9:00 AM. Philadelphia Avenue from Maple Avenue to Piney Branch Road is closed off at 8:30 AM so the portion in front of the Library can be used to assemble the parade cars. Police from Takoma Park, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia are positioned to reroute traffic during the assembly and parade on detours around the parade route.
Our objective is to provide an entertaining parade, suited to people of all ages, which can be enjoyed by both the viewers and the participants.
The parade is always held on the 4th of July. We have no rain date because it is impossible to reassemble all the volunteers, participants, spectators and vendors, and to obtain the necessary permits and the assistance of the police and other government departments.
PARTICIPANTS, DIGNITARIES, JUDGES & PRIZES
Go back to the previous page & select How to Participate in the Parade for this information. Winners of parade prizes will be announced at the evening program and posted under Parade Prize Winners in the PARADE section. Cash prizes will be mailed directly to the address of record for the winning units.
Vendors of food, drinks, novelties, etc. are selected on the basis of what they provide. We try to have a wide variety available, but limit competition to the areas of ice cream and beverages. Each vendor fills out an application to apply and pays the Committee a fee for coverage under the City's vendor permitting laws, but must also obtain the necessary licenses and permits required by Montgomery County and the State of Maryland. Food vendors are inspected on site to ensure they meet the terms of these permits. These vendors are located near the reviewing stand where the largest crowd assembles, and where they can recover the greatest return on their investment.
City of Takoma Park: The city supports our parade by cleaning the streets before and after the parade, providing the reviewing stand, putting up flags on the telephone poles, providing barricades to block off streets and parking lots, providing police to control the roads and intersections and the police color guard to lead off the parade, by covering the expenses related to securing bands for the parade and providing the dignitaries with refreshments, and in numerous other ways.
Montgomery County & DC Police: Montgomery County provides additional police to augment the Takoma Park Police Department and the motorcycle escort the beginning of the parade, and DC provides police assistance where the parade route passes through DC along Carroll Street.
Washington Adventist Hospital: The hospital provides and operates a first aid station located near the reviewing stand.
The Potomac Classic Thunderbird Club, Antique Car and Contemporary Car Owners: These people provide the transportation for the dignitaries.
Roscoe Flat: The Committee Roscoe Float displays the names of the businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals who have made contributions of $100 or more to support our activities.
Parade Director: The parade director is in overall control, making sure things are set up according to plan, getting the parade started, keeping it moving, and solving problems.
Division Directors & Parade Staff: The division directors are responsible for assuring that their units line up in the designated order of march. The division directors and parade staff then accompany the divisions to keep order, keep the units moving and closed up, and to prevent unauthorized units from crashing the parade.
Parade MC: The Parade MC is located next to the reviewing stand and announces each unit as it approaches. Each group is asked to provide information about themselves when they sign up for the parade so the announcer can tell us a little about them.