The 123rd annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade returns to downtown Santa Rosa on Saturday with a new route, thanks to the recent restoration of Old Courthouse Square.
The closure of Mendocino Avenue, which once took parade entries through the divided square toward Juilliard Park, means the procession will now take a few extra turns around downtown and encircle the square using B and Third streets en route to the parade end at D Street, organizers said.
The shifting layout makes for an easy transition for those interested in attending the post-parade festival at its new location, the town square reopened amid much celebration late last month.
The Rose Parade, a perennial favorite named in honor of famed hometown horticulturist Luther Burbank, includes school bands, flag twirlers, floats, clowns and equestrian displays.
Organizers this year asked participants to explore the theme of Life in Motion.
At Cesar Chavez Language Academy, a dual immersion pre-kindergarten to third-grade school in west Santa Rosa, students were inspired to think about the import and export of goods. They have painted 12 wooden pallets to decorate this year’s float, an entry that parent organizer Anastasio Tovar called “Open Fences,” acknowledging its political overtones.
Up to 80 students from the bilingual, bicultural school will accompany the float, arranged on a flatbed trailer.
“I’m a parade junkie, so I’ve attended many parades,” said Tovar, a 20-year Santa Rosa resident with one son in kindergarten at Cesar Chavez and another one headed that way. “I was in marching bands growing up, and eventually that’s what I want for our school, but our school’s not at that level yet. But I’m planting a seed.”
The parade runs from 10 a.m. to about noon, with the festival running until 4 p.m.
Details are available at roseparadefestival.com or by calling 707-837-1928.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @MaryCallahanB.