What started as a parade down Olive Avenue to celebrate the end of World War II has since become a tradition for the city of Burbank, California. In 1945, the Burbank Junior Chamber of Commerce organized a parade that was held in conjunction with their annual spring festival. The annual festival was a favorite tradition in Burbank, which included parties, a pageant, contests, dancing, and other means of celebrating life in Burbank. The festival was a tradition for twelve years.
In 1981, a group of Burbank residents who had previously enjoyed attending the festival and accompanying parade decided to revive the tradition of celebrating Burbank. In lieu of a weeklong festival, the group opted to plan a large parade, and the tradition has continued ever since.
Each year, the parade has a special theme selected by the Burbank on Parade organizers, and parade marchers build floats and wear outfits that highlight the year’s theme. The parade consists of specially decorated floats, high school and independent marching bands, antique and vintage cars, special Burbank VIPs, Burbank organizations, and a parade Grand Marshal. The parade is held annually each spring.
Past Grand Marshals include George Lopez, Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, Debbie Reynolds, Alan Hale, Jan & Dean, Donald O’Connor, Danny Bonaducci, Anson Williams, Brooks Gardner, the “Saved By The Bell” cast, Bozo the Clown. Bands as far away at Pennsylvania have traveled to participate in Burbank On Parade as well as the Marine Corps Bands and several other Armed Forces units.
Burbank on Parade is made possible by the support of the City of Burbank, businesses in Burbank, and Burbank residents, all of whom provide their time as well as financial support.