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McGlashan Inspires 2011 Memorial Day Parade

Annual stroll down Miller Ave., set for May 30, draws its theme from late Marin County Supervisor and Mill Valley resident.

In the 10 days since , a have come from all over Marin County for the 49-year-old Mill Valley resident.

The widely revered leader will receive another accolade next month when the 2011 Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade takes place under the banner of “Mission Impossible: What would Charles do?”

“To carry his legacy forward, let’s create floats and banners that represent the future of our community and Charles’ vision,” said Larry “the Hat” Lautzker, owner of in downtown Mill Valley and “head honcho” of the I Love a Parade Committee that puts on the event each year.

The committee is encouraging entrants to develop a theme around an issue that McGlashan championed over the years, from using non-motorized forms of transit and reusable shopping bags to civic participation and buying local. The 60 or so entrants the parade gets each year, from neighborhoods and nonprofits to music and pets, won’t be limited to those themes, however.

Lautzker said the 32nd annual parade, which draws between 5,000 and 7,000 people along the 1.6-mile route that extends from to , is one of the city’s signature events and its biggest draw.

“In modern America, as cosmopolitan as Mill Valley might be, it still has some real small town values,” Lautzker said. “This is the chance for all of us to come together and celebrate that.”

As it has each year for the past decade, the parade gets its unofficial kick off at around 7 a.m. with the annual Pancake Breakfast hosted by the Volunteer Firefighters. That event takes place on traffic-free Corte Madera Ave. in front of , with pancakes, eggs, juice and coffee being served up outside the fire station, according to John Thompson, one of the organizers and president of the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association.

The breakfast has been a huge success since its inception, Thompson said.

“We planned for 300 people and ended up getting 600 the first year, and now we’re up to serving up between 1,800 and 2,000 breakfasts in four hours,” he said.

The breakfast is all-you-can-eat, with fees of $7 for adults and $5 for kids, and all proceeds benefit the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association, which hopes to raise money to equip a new batch of volunteer recruits.

The breakfast goes until 11 a.m., though it tends to wind down earlier as people head over to the parade route, Thompson said.

The parade kicks off at Old Mill at 10:30 a.m., passing in front of a judges’ booth across from and heading down Miller. Awards are handed for best float, best musical entry, top novelty/comedy entry, best dog and best car.

Emcee Christina Marie will be located outside  on Miller.

Lautzker’s famed Fashion Police will be scattered throughout the route, handing out citations for fashion faux pas, from “Failure to yield to good taste” to “Reckless coordinating.”

“We protect the children from violent fashion offenses,” Lautzker said. “These young minds could wind up having fashion dysfunction and temporary color blindness and they could really be scarred by bad fashion.”

The parade will be followed by an after-party at the , which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, from noon to 5 p.m.

The 411: The Pancake Breakfast is on Corte Madera Ave. in front of City Hall from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost: adults $7, children $5 – all you can eat.

The Memorial Day Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at Old Mill School, with entrants lining up in Old Mill Park starting at 8:30 a.m. Entry fees are $75 for commercial entities and $35 for nonprofits. See application here and dog entries should visit . After-party at Community Center runs from noon to 5 p.m.

Lisa April 08, 2011 at 05:59 PM
More information on the After Party at the Mill Valley Community Center: We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary and will be having a large celebration in the lawn. There will be a free concert featuring Pop Fiction, great raffle prizes, children's activities, jumpees and more! Join us in the lawn from 12pm to 4pm after the parade at 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley.
Michael Campbell May 23, 2011 at 08:25 PM
I'm a Vietnam Vet - any place in the Parade for vets? Yachtsman1@comcast.net. Michael Campbell Lt.Col. USA ret.

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