Orinda July 4th Parade

By Diane Malucelli
Photos by Darlene Calimlim

East Bay Banjo Club members enjoyed a special Fourth of July by playing in the Orinda parade. Bobbie Landers did a great job for us in getting a sponsor (the law firm of Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis and Larsen) and a flatbed truck with hay bales to sit on. At 9 a.m. we were decorating the truck with flags and other red, white and blue decorations. We all got up on the truck, sat on the hay bales and rode out into the parade at about 10 a.m.

Music Director Betty David led us in the songs and Bob Ehrhorn played his bass guitar. Other participating club members included Connor Calimlim, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Deb Hodson, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Bud Pearce, Jan Ruzicka (guitar) and Slavka Ruzicka (autoharp). Connor Calimlim’s parents, Darlene and Lito, also rode with us.

The parade route took us to downtown Orinda and then through the Highway 24 underpass to Orinda Village in the newer part of town. There were thousands of people lining the streets, by far the most people we have ever seen in town. Many different cultures and ages were represented and everyone smiled and waved and shouted “Happy Fourth.” It was a wonderful experience, with people clapping for us and waving their flags. We could hear people saying “There are the banjos” and children were dancing to the beat of our music. We had so much fun we really didn’t want it to end so soon.

EBBC extends a big thank-you to our sponsor, the law firm of Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis and Larsen. Based in Orinda, the firm also has offices through the Bay Area.