my biggest joys is serving as
co-chair of the annual Ventura
County St. Patrick's Day Parade.
This year's theme was "Honoring
Our Troops," and I believe it's
the best one we've had.
inspiring to see so many military
heroes, from Grand Marshal Jeff
Gorell, who served in Afghanistan
while he also was a member of the
State Assembly, to 95-year-old World
War II veteran Lt. Col. Robert
Friend, a member of the legendary
Tuskegee Airmen. Also riding in the
parade was Capt. Lawrence Vasquez,
commanding officer of Naval Base
Ventura County. Marching behind them
were members of the Navy's VAW-113
World Famous Black Eagles and the
Army's 187th Airborne Regimental
Combat Team, among other enlisted
personnel and veterans.
I was so thrilled to
see how the green-wearing
parade-watchers embraced our men and
women in uniform by applauding them
and waving American flags!
parade drew over 90 entries,
including floats sponsored by civic
groups, nonprofits and local
businesses and restaurants; marching
bands; car clubs; horses; clowns;
and the Biggest Green Pig in the
World. There also were high school
pep bands, youth groups and
fun-loving adult groups parading
down Main Street. Danny Harrison
accepted the honor of driving one of
our new compressed natural gas
vehicles down the parade route, with
his son Jack riding shotgun.
I want to thank
co-chairs Jim Monahan and Brian
Brennan, Elks Parade co-chairs Art
Amelio and Lance Baird, members of
the St. Patrick's Day Committee and
members of Ventura Elks Lodge No.
1430 for help putting on such a
great show. It was a lot of hard
work but also a lot of fun!
Also, thanks to
all who attended! Mark your
calendars for next year's parade.
It's on March 12.