January 23, 2022

Town Council: Parade Yes, Water No


The Topanga Town Council has voted once again to sponsor the Memorial Day/Topanga Days Parade this year. With an eye toward more participation more and better floats, it was also decided to keep this a “water-free” parade again, without water balloons or squirt guns to dampen the participants’ creativity.

Council president Anthony Hall says that, he would like to encourage a “memorial” aspect to the parade, in part by encouraging the presence of veterans. But mainly he says the Council wants to put on the a fun and inclusive parade, celebrating life in Topanga.

“We want everyone in Topanga to feel that they can come with their own float and help us celebrate Memorial Day by having a really fun parade,” he says.

At a meeting at the Community House on February 15, several people came to express their opinions about the water question and other parade topics. Ken Mazur said that he hopes the parade can include some appreciation for the veterans of foreign wars who live in Topanga.

“Let’s bring the word ‘memorial’ back to the Memorial Day parade,” he said.

Town Council member Vic Richards, himself a veteran of the Korean war, was appreciative.“I feel neglected,” Richards said with a grin.

It was also discussed how to salute the veterans without bringing the current political crisis into the parade.

On the question of water, Ken Mazur joined the unanimous chorus on keeping things dry this year. In his 15 years of parade attendance, he said, he feels that the water has degraded the creativity people are willing to put into their floats and costumes.

“No one wants to drive an old convertible through the parade, or a horse that can get spooked,” he said.

Richards agreed, saying he’s driven a valuable vintage convertible in the parade but wouldn’t do it again if he had to risk getting soaked.

John Berger, whose surf band has performed on a float in the parade for many years felt the same way.

“Our band is volatile enough,” he said, without worrying about the effects of water balloons on their equipment. “We’re hooked up to a generator.”

Council member Jacqui Benson questioned whether the parade could even be permitted if water wasn’t forbidden. The vote to keep the water-fighting out this year was unanimous, 5-0?

The theme of this year's parade will be “Living in Harmony with Nature.” The theme will be strictly optional, however, with prizes planned for both on-theme and off-theme floats.