In Laguna Beach, the well-loved Annual Patriot’s Day parade starts at 11 a.m., which means hundreds of happy citizens participating, thousands watching from the sidewalks, and traffic diversions beginning as early as 9:00 a.m.
The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. by Laguna Beach High School and winds through all the business streets of downtown. Celebrating “Everyday Heroes” this year Barbara Diamond will be the Grand Marshal this year with more than 100 marching participants from local businesses, school, non-profits and clubs. The parade’s theme this year aims to honor citizens who have served the community and those who have served the nation in times of war or national emergency.

Traffic Woes

Once again, this means that PCH comes to a complete and long stop, and the downtown streets are virtually impassable. Good thing it’s an interesting parade, because if you’re stuck in the middle of it, you’ll at least have something enjoyable to watch.

Dana Point’s Same-Day Parade Has Taken a Different Turn …

Happily, what usually makes the Laguna Beach traffic so much worse has been significantly adjusted this year – the first year ever – with the Annual Festival of Whales Parade in Dana Point changing its parade route entirely. For decades, Dana Point has always run its parade with just an hour’s difference from the Patriot’s Day Parade with significant closures of thoroughfares such as Coast Highway, Selva and Golden Lantern.

Now, the parade’s floats, cars, bands and other sundry is entirely conducted in the Dana Point Harbor. The parade will be staged on the west island side of the Harbor near the Dana Point Yacht Club. It will proceed east on Dana Drive toward the RH Dana statue and then (left/north) over the Island Way Bridge to Dana Point Harbor Drive. It will then turn right/east on Dana Point Harbor Drive toward Golden Lantern and end in the El Torito/Brig parking lot at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive and Golden Lantern.

Meanwhile, all their vendors for the festival will be setting up and drawing in crowds of people at the harbor (main route down is Golden Lantern).

For more details on the enormous Festival of Whales Parade and 2-weekend event, click here: Festival of Whales

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