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July 4 parade gets large donation
Celebrate Fremont gives $25,000 to help organizers put on an extra special event

Fremont Argus
April 3, 2006

FREMONT - The annual Fourth of July parade has received a $25,000 donation from Celebrate Fremont, the all-volunteer group spearheading the city's yearlong 50th anniversary celebration.

The City of Fremont launched the Fourth of July parade, now in its eighth year, but it has become a volunteer-run event funded by private donations.

"It's so wonderful to receive the donation," said parade co-chair Patty Hitchcock. "They're donating to something that is exactly what (the group) is all about."

In addition, home developer Mark Robson has contributed $15,000 to support the annual parade, Hitchcock said.

The parade's theme will be "Honoring Hometown Heroes," in recognition of the city's 50th anniversary. Parade organizers are seeking nominations for local heroes people who have served Fremont or have made a significant contribution to the community in some way.

The event's planners have been contacting celebrities with Fremont ties, such as baseball Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and ice-skating star Kristi Yamaguchi, to participate in the parade. Less well-known but equally important citizens, such as the city leaders who led Fremont's incorporation 50 years ago, also will be honored at the event, Hitchcock said.

The parade is an inclusive event, said Irene Koehler, chair of the Celebrate Fremont steering committee.

"It's something that can be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds," Koehler said. "Everyone is welcome."  

A different Fremont district hosts the parade each year on a rotating basis, with the goal of allowing residents and neighbors to enjoy the event in different parts of town. Irvington is hosting the parade this year, but in the same spirit of neighborhood cooperation that allowed Fremont to unite and incorporate in 1956, Irvington's float in the parade will be joined by representatives of the city's four other original districts.

"All five districts are coming together this year," said Hitchcock, also a Celebrate Fremont member. "That's new for the parade."

Mission San Jose hosted the parade last year, and Niles will host the event next year.

For more information about the parade, visit

Nominations for Fremont "local heroes" may be made by contacting Patty Hitchcock at (510) 226-9323 or sending an e-mail to

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