London Bridge Parade Draws Thousands Saturday

Thousands of spectators turned out on upper McCulloch Boulevard this morning to cheer the 75 parade entries through their celebration of Lake Havasu City’s 45th annual London Bridge Days parade.

This year’s parade theme was “A Salute to Havasu Volunteers”, so this year’s grand marshal was Steve Van Ella, owner of Red Onion. Van Ella was recognized earlier this year as Havasu’s Volunteer of the Year by Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce because of his endless work maintaining Springberg-McAndrew Park on McCulloch.

Havasu Side by Side Trail Association. Rick Powell/RiverScene

Havasu Side by Side Trail Association. Rick Powell/RiverScene

The Lake Havasu Community Emergency Response Team, or C.E.R.T., led the Lake Havasu City Fire Department this year, followed by neighboring community fire department Desert Hills Fire. One of Mohave County Sheriff’s Office’s water patrol boat and the MCSO Search and Rescue Team were represented, too.

Local off-road groups, volunteer groups, pet therapy groups, senior living centers, youth activity groups, Shriner groups, fellowship groups and dignitaries waved their way through the parade route, which was along McCulloch from Acoma to Capri, near Wheeler Park.

Among the parade entries were many young musicians with Parker High School Marching Band; Fort Mojave Marching Band; Gadsden Elementary, of San Luis; Lake Havasu High School Marching Band; Thundercat Music Department’s Thunderbolt Middle School; and Mohave Accelerated Learning Center.

Dean Baker, owner of Lake Havasu City Properties, displayed his hot air balloon in Springberg-McAndrew park before and during the parade. The balloon is a significant part of Havasu’s history as it was commissioned by city founder Robert P. McCulloch 40 years ago. Baker tracked the balloon down in recent years in Palm Springs, Calif., and purchased it.

Baker, a local hot air balloon pilot, wanted the balloon to preserve the city’s history and share it with today’s citizens. It isn’t flight worthy because of its age, but perfect as a tethered exhibit.

A Vision 20/20 Finalist Celebration was hosted in Springberg-McAndrew Park immediately following the parade. There were booths set up to inform community members of the different aspects, or pillars, of the city’s revitalization plan. There also was music, bounce houses, hot dogs, snow cones and prize giveaways.

Rick Powell/RiverScene

Rick Powell/RiverScene

PARADE CATEGORIES AND WINNERS

Commercial Floats
1st place – ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu
2nd place – Love on a Leash Pet Therapy
3rd place – Lakeview Terrace Memory Care

Non-Commercial Floats
1st place – Frontier America’s Best Communities Vision 20/20
2nd place – Little Delbert Days
3rd place – Lake Havasu Yacht Club

Youth Floats
Sweepstakes winner – LHC Parks and Recs
1st place – Lake Havasu Girl Scouts
2nd place – Telesis Preparatory Academy
3rd place – Elk Jr. Golf Program

Decorated Vehicles
1st place – St. Vincent DePaul Society
2nd place – Denise’s Day
3rd place – London Bridge Civitan Club

Color Guard & Drill Team
1st place – Havasu Elite Baton Twirling Club
2nd place – Arizona State Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard
3rd place – Lake Havasu Young Marines

Equestrian
1st place – VFW Rangers Mounted Color Guard
2nd place – Little Delbert Days Rodeo Queen
3rd place – (none/scratch)

Photo Gallery By Rick Powell:

Photo Gallery By Jillian Danielson:

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