4th of July Parade ready to march through streets of downtown Stockton:

Fourth of July Fest at Weber Point to follow parade, with fireworks display after dark

The chairperson of Stockton’s Fourth of July Parade set three main goals while organizing this year’s event. Two of the initiatives have been met, and the third will be up to the people of the city on parade day.

The traditional holiday celebration was first held 159 years ago. This year’s event begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 4 at Weber Avenue and El Dorado Street in Downtown Stockton. The parade will be followed by the Fourth of July Fest at Weber Points Events Center.

Linda Vasquez, who chairs the parade, said the objectives were clear coming into the holiday.

“The main goals were to raise enough money to cover expenses, have at least 65 entries, and to draw a big crowd,” said Vasquez. She added that organizers raised more than enough to cover the $6,000 parade cost and have 73 entries.

“The unknown is always the crowd.  But we think it’s going to be a great parade and a great day. I’m a native Stocktonian, and have been going to the parade as long as I can remember. Who doesn’t love a parade?”

A newspaper photo gallery featuring the Stockton Fourth of July Parade of 1945. (COURTESY OF SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM)

Expect lots of sun and mild temps

Weather reports for the holiday call for temperatures in the mid-80s and plenty of sun for the downtown event. The first recorded Independence Day Parade in Stockton was held in 1863. It has continued almost every year since, with some notable exceptions. During the pandemic in 2020, Stockton held a virtual parade. In 2017, the Moving Vietnam Wall was in town during the holiday and the parade wasn’t held.

A grandstand will be set up at the start of the parade, with another located at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium. The route will move from the corner of El Dorado and Weber north to Oak Street, and turn left on Oak to Center Street. The group will proceed south on Center, and finish after turning right on Weber.

Grand Marshals for the Fourth of July Parade include Korean War veteran Cary Martin, Janet Lilly of the African American Chamber of Commerce of San Joaquin County, Bill and Laura Smith of the California Delta Chamber of Commerce, Loreen Huey of the Central Valley Asian-American Chamber of Commerce, and Chris Kay of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.

The Fourth of July Fest will begin at noon and feature activities for kids, such as bubbles, jumpers, and face painting. Vendors and a variety of food trucks will also be on site. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

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