July 4th - July 6th
10:00am - 9:00pm
The tradition began on July 4, 1904, when Huntington Beach commemorated the arrival of the first electric passenger train linking the area with Long Beach and Los Angeles. The Board of Trade, a forerunner of the Chamber of Commerce, sponsored this first event, bringing 50,000 people to town to join in the day's celebration.
Through the years, residents and visitors have witnessed some spectacular sights. How's this for a show stopping stunt by a city official? In the late 1930's, the city's first lifeguard and fire chief, Dilbert "Bud" Higgins had a trick that no one has since imitated. He would don a firesuit, cover his face with petroleum jelly, soak himself with alcohol, light a match and dive in a fiery ball from a 50-foot platform high above the pier into the water below.
Among the famous who have presided over the parade in years past are Hollywood movie stars Patrick Warburton, Jerry Mathers, Tim Conway Jr., Joe Mantegna (and Mickey Mouse!) and a true American hero, astronaut Buzz Aldrin. We've also had hometown hero's Tony Gonzalez (NFL), Tito Ortiz (MMA) and Hank Conger (MLB). The best legend goes that during his presidency, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's entourage was on its way through town, headed for San Diego, as the parade was going on. Quick-thinking parade organizers persuaded them to take a slow pass along the parade route, to the delight of those gathered to watch.