ORINDA -- It's a local tradition, and one that has become noteworthy beyond city limits.
Orinda's 31st annual Fourth of July celebration is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. Friday with a pancake breakfast and include a run/walk, the popular parade (featuring the Orinda All-Volunteer Marching Band) classic cars, live music and plenty of other activities for the family.
The All-Volunteer Marching Band is open to any musician with an instrument and a willingness for adventure; its first practice is one hour before the parade begins.
The pancake breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way. That will be followed by the Haley's Run for a Reason, named for Haley Tom, an Orinda girl who was 21 months old when she died in 2000 of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. All proceeds from this event benefit The SUDC Program (http://www.sudc.org/), which serves people affected by SUDC, promotes awareness of SUDC and raises money for research.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. by the Orinda Theatre and travels under the freeway to the Orinda Community Center. The parade features floats, various marchers and musicians, (including the All-Volunteer band). It ends about 11:30 a.m., when a wide variety of activities begin at the Orinda Community Center Park that will stretch into the afternoon.
The Educational Foundation of Orinda Jazz Band will play while children enjoy the petting zoo or Jeremy the Juggler. There will also be face painters, balloon artists, a balloon toss, carnival games and two bounce houses.
Miramonte High School Varsity Football returns to run its popular football toss; and there will be many nonprofit booths set up, as well.
There also will be numerous food and beverage options, including the Orinda Chamber of Commerce's hot dogs and Czech beer drawn in honor of Orinda's Sister City Tabor, in the Czech Republic.
Also featured will be Orinda Motors' classic car show, and new this year is the Instagram Photo Contest, utilizing the widely popular cellphone app Instagram. A $100 cash prize will be awarded for the best photo of the day's events.
The Independence Day fun is sponsored by The Orinda Association, in partnership with the city of Orinda, Orinda Community Foundation, Orinda Parks & Recreation Foundation, Orinda Chamber of Commerce and the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Orinda Motors and Mechanics Bank are title sponsors.
For the complete schedule of activities, the parade route and parking availability, go to www.orindaassociation.org or call 925-254-0800.
To accommodate the parade, the westbound Highway 24 on/off ramp and the east side of Camino Pablo will be closed from approximately 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. Traffic will be allowed on the west side of Camino Pablo with the on/off ramps on that side of the street open.