More than 3,000 people will be lining Main Street Thursday morning to watch the Martinez Fourth of July Parade.
Launching the holiday will be a flag raising at 9 a.m. that day in front of the Veterans Memorial Building, 930 Ward St., to mark the beginning of a full day of festivities to mark the celebration of the nation’s independence.
Spectators will be lining the sidewalks in anticipation of the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. and features plenty of American flags held aloft by marchers or placed as decorations on an array of vehicles, while others will be draped in bunting of patriotic red, white and blue.
Dozens of entries from area civic and social groups, businesses, dance and gymnastic troupes, musicians, sports teams, local dignitaries and community organizations will be participating.
Main Street Martinez is the parade’s organizer.
Once again this year, children will have the chance to bring their decorated bicycles, tricycles, wagons, strollers and scooters to the parade staging area, on Court Street between Ward and Main Street, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday so they can be in the Kids Decorated Bike Parade, a special feature of the procession.
Each of the children will be given an award, and no application for these entries is necessary.
Other entries will be judged by a panel and will be given awards right after the parade.
The fun continues at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., which is showing the Disney-Pixar animated movie “Incredibles 2” Admission is free, and the theater will give out free popcorn.
Fireworks will light up the night starting at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday at Martinez Shoreline Park. Those who want to view the fireworks from the waterfront are being asked to arrive early to get their favorite spots, according to an announcement from the city of Martinez.
Waterfront Park and the Marina will be closed to vehicles at 6 p.m., although limited handicapped parking will be available on a first come first serve basis.
The pyrotechnics will last about 25 minutes.
This year’s fireworks show sponsors are EUV Tec, Republic Services, Shell, MCE and Build-Tek.
These are the only legal fireworks inside the Martinez city limits as well as Contra Costa County, according to the city’s announcement. All others, including sparklers and those labeled as “safe” fireworks, are banned from sale, possession and use, according to the announcement. Violators may be reported to the Martinez Police Department at 925-372-3440.