Montclair is getting ready for the biggest event of the summer season: the July 4th celebrations! The festivities include the region’s largest Independence Day parade and a community picnic with food, games, and music. The parade will take place on Tuesday, July 4th, 2023, beginning at 11 am. The picnic will immediately follow the conclusion of the parade and will be held at Edgemont Park at 1 pm.
“This year, the parade is going to be bigger and better than ever,” said Donato DiGeronimo, Chairman of the Montclair Celebrates July 4th Committee. “We have more marching bands, more music, more floats, more of everything! And we are proud to honor our Grand Marshals Lonnie Brandon and Pat Brechka, whose combined contributions to our shared history are impossible to measure.”
The Grand Marshals
The Grand Marshals of the parade, Lonnie Brandon and Pat Brechka, are both retired Directors of Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Their leadership enabled generations of Montclarions to participate in sports, summer programs, holiday festivals, health, and fitness initiatives, and countless activities and special events. The rich culture of the Township was nurtured and invigorated by their dedication and decades-long commitment to the community.
The July 4th parade is central to their legacy. Lonnie and Pat’s vision and guiding spirit helped make Montclair’s Independence Day celebrations the envy of the region. Over 10,000 people from Montclair and neighboring communities line the parade route every year, joining community groups, organizations, sports teams, local businesses, elected officials, and civic leaders. The parade sums up exactly what Montclair aspires to be: diverse and inclusive. Everyone’s welcome.
Special guests of the parade, the Soul Stompers, a historically African American drill team, led by Father Charles Brady of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Montclair, were active in the 1960s and 1970s. The group competed nationally and received special recognition from President Nixon for their hard work and success. The Soul Stompers performed at the opening day of Disney World as well as the Indianapolis 500 and Rose Bowl parade.
The Parade and Picnic
Parade participants are the heart and soul of the event. Marching bands, floats, antique cars, senior citizens, soccer kids, PTA parents, local businesses, veterans, bubble dancers and pranksters with squirt guns will all wind their way through the streets of the Township. Their expressions of creativity will meet the enthusiastic cheers of their neighbors and friends. It sums up exactly what Montclair aspires to be: diverse and inclusive. Everyone’s welcome.
The parade begins at 11 am along a 1.6-mile route traveling west on Bloomfield Avenue, north on Midland Avenue, continuing to Watchung Avenue, west to Valley Road, and ending at Edgemont Park, the site of the town picnic. The parade is a rain-or-shine event.
The Community Picnic will begin at 1 pm. Food trucks, music, games, and activities will be on hand at the end of the parade route in Edgemont Park.
The Montclair July 4th parade is funded through the generous donations of our sponsors. Every year, businesses, organizations, and individuals step forward to help make this tradition possible. We are deeply grateful and sincerely thank them on behalf of the Montclair community.
Our Yankee Doodle Dandy sponsors:
Mountainside Medical Center
Clara Maass Medical Center
Our Stars and Stripes sponsors:
The Bravitas Group + Silver Family Foundation
Citizen’s Philanthropic Foundation
Montclair Firefighters Foundation
Village Square Realtors
Our Roman Candle sponsors:
Assemblyman Thomas Giblin
Our Sparkler sponsors:
Montclair Community Pre-K
Town Auto Body
Partners for Health Foundation
Bellevue Avenue Dental Associates
Park Street Automotive Inc.
Ellen and Kenneth Colton
Sharon Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts
Montclair Tree Experts
Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home
Schultz Property Management
Our Holiday sponsors:
Montclair PBA Local #53 CA, Inc.
Red Star Paint and Decorating
Charles T. Swanson
Creative Walls by Bronson Design Studio