Another fine Fourth

It couldn’t have been a pleasanter morning Friday as thousands packed the Plaza for Sonoma’s famous Fourth of July parade.

Now in its 51st year, the parade has become an institution here, and locals seem to know the drill, parking in the outskirts of downtown and walking into the Plaza area – lining both sides of all four streets, in some places 15-deep – in time for the start of the show.

“The parade has now started, the color guard is now coming around the corner,” announced emcee Susan Scarbrough from the grandstand at 10 a.m. sharp. Soon the flag-bearers marched by as the Hometown Band played, and onlookers removed their hats and clapped.

“We’re here to honor our freedom, and our flag is the symbol of that freedom,” Scarbrough said.

The cheers and fanfare continued as the parade drifted by, with the Grand Marshal float embodying old-fashioned patriotism: a white cart drawn by two big Clydesdales, their manes and tails decorated in red, white and blue.

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