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Coronado, Orange Avenue
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Why Coronado? Because the town's small enough and the parade's big enough. And the grassy median's a perfect picnic spot. And the Navy and the SEALs and the amphib people can roll their heavy stuff right out the gate and into the parade. So you get a marine M-1 tank swinging its turret over your head, or a Vietnam-era HC3 twin-blade chopper bulging along the street with its rotors folded back like fly wings. But alongside these you get the Coronado Public Library's float of Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell, and Never-Never Land; Coronado High School kids in cars they converted from gasoline to electricity; the Glorietta Bay Inn with an evocation of tent city 1900; the Naval Amphibious Sailor of the Year; Gamewardens of Vietnam -- a little head-scratching there -- the local mayor; congressmen; even some guy parading the red '62 topless GT he just wants to sell. It's like a visual reminder of our local and national memory. And afterward: medieval contests, picnic concerts, mock wars, and fireworks.

But the heart and soul's here on Orange: families, young couples, teens, and kids. Five-year-olds Scottish-dancing their way down the avenue to pipes playing "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" Grandpas who stand up, doff their hats, and salute every time a military unit goes by.

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