There may be no bigger party for the City of Santa Monica than the 4th of July. Mix the beach, a fireworks show, and a massive parade, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. With the fireworks blasting off at SMC the weekend before, there was a much bigger emphasis on the 6th Annual 4th of July Parade on the actual Wednesday of the 4th. For Buy Local Santa Monica this was our second go around. Our contingent grew in numbers from last years proving that the Buy Local message is working.
We were on our feet. We were on our bikes. We were dressed to the nines in red, white, and blue holding signs that said ‘bike local and buy local’ and other encouraging messages. Our goal, as always, was to get the Buy Local message out. One big way we did this was the introduction of our brand new Buy Local flagship- The Buy Local One. A tri-wheeled electric city vehicle converted into a float and dressed up with the Buy Local colors and logo. It certainly boosted our Buy Local swagger. Pasadena may have the Rose Bowl Parade, but when it comes to the fourth of July it’s all Santa Monica.
It may have been America’s B-day, but down on Main Street being amongst all the other B2B’ers, it felt like a celebration for Santa Monica more than anything else. There were seventy two different groups, ranging from awesome bands, to dancing children, to the unofficial Grand Marshal of the parade Chairman Barksdale, a greyhound dawning a blue tunic and a miniature Uncle Sam hat. Real honors went out to local science teachers praised by the masses including Lori Nafshun, one of the events founders, congratulating the honoraries for all that they have done for the community. She also acknowledged the Buy Local presence as well.
“I wish I had thought of this Buy Local - Santa Monica Parade partnership sooner. It's really beneficial to the community and the Buy Local merchants. Going forth, I'm hoping we can combine the merchants with some of the Santa Monica non-profits to build floats for the parade.” Lori said.
For the Buy Local merchants the 4th of July offered a great time to march down Main Street with their families. Others took the opportunity to meet and greet with the people both in and out of the parade. It was basically another Buy Local mixer under extraordinary circumstances.
“We joined the Buy Local group who represented small businesses throughout the city and were proud to be a part of it. It was great waving to all the people. The only hard part was getting up early.” Said Kathie Gibboney and Micheal Anapol owners of Shaka Shack Burger.
It was an important event for everyone. There was a genuine feeling of excitement and optimism not only for our BLSM group, but in the faces of the thousands in the crowd as well. With the exception of a few crying babies, there did not to be one frown the entire length of main street.