Tag Archives: Burbank On Parade

Creative People Needed to Build Floats for Burbank on Parade

The Burbank on Parade committee is seeking volunteers to help construct the parade floats in preparation for the annual community celebration on April 6. The parade is a few weeks earlier this year and there are a lot of things to do.

Burbank on Parade 2013 logoCreative Director Wayne Poirier is looking for painters, carpenters and artists to give their time. Opportunities to volunteer are twice a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays now until parade day at the Burbank Tournament of Roses Float Barn under the Olive Avenue bridge.

“We need creative people and people who can follow instructions,” Poirier said. “It’s a lot of fun and a chance to use your imagination!”

To volunteer, contact Poirier at (818) 402-6399

The parade theme is “Let’s Go to the Movies!” The parade begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. It travels east on Olive Avenue from Keystone to Lomita streets and ends at Izay Park. Those featured in the parade are civic leaders, dignitaries, bands, equestrian units, drill teams, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and representatives of businesses and organizations in town.

Burbank on Parade is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, run solely by volunteers. All donations go to the costs of putting on the parade for the whole community’s enjoyment. For more information on sponsorships and participation applications, visit www.burbankonparade.com or call the parade hotline at (818) 562-7801.

Burbank on Parade Wants You to Come ‘Swing’ With Them

The Burbank on Parade Committee is having a Big Band Swing Dance Fundraiser from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, 1006 W. Magnolia Blvd. Playing music of the 1940s, popular modern jazz and a little mix of movie theme selections will be the Big Band Swing Express conducted by Jonathan Goldman.

Admission is free with donations going to the April 6 parade.

For more information, contact David Freedman at (415) 505-5590 ordsfreedman@mindspring.com.

“Let’s Go to the Movies” with Burbank on Parade in 2013

By Joyce Rudolph

Burbank on Parade’ s new President Carey Briggs has announced that “Let’s Go to the Movies” is the theme for the parade on April 6.

The parade committee has launched a major drive for volunteers and is getting an early start on fundraising, Briggs added.

Coming up on Monday, Caminiti’s Pizza & Sports restaurant, 1220 W. Burbank Blvd., will donate a percentage of dine-in or take-out orders to the parade between 5 and 8 p.m. Customers are asked to download and print the event flier from the parade Facebook page and present it when ordering. The restaurant has pizza, salads, hot grinders and pasta.

The parade committee is organizing a fundraising comedy night at Flappers at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Tickets are $20.

Briggs is involved in several organizations in town, he said, because of his deep roots in the city. He was born at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and is a third-generation Burbank High School graduate. He has been a volunteer with the Parks and Recreation, Elks Club and a committee member of Boy Scout Troop 210. He is also a member of the board of directors and immediate past president of the Burbank Historical Society.

For six years, he served as the Transportation Director for Burbank on Parade, securing and organizing the convertible vehicles that take the dignitaries down the parade route. His focus now, he said, is building a strong volunteer base to run the parade and coordinate successful fundraisers that will continue the parade throughout this decade and beyond.

With that in mind, parade committee members manned booths at two events last weekend and gathered 100 names of prospective volunteers to help put on the parade. On Saturday they were at the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter’s Paws Matter Event at the Burbank Police & Fire Headquarters. Saturday and Sunday they were at the Fall Into the ARTS Festival in Downtown Burbank.

The committee held a contest at each event asking people to guess how many parade lapel pins were in a jar. The winners were Sumer Gheizzawi who guessed 350 at the Paws event. There were 351 buttons in the jar. The winner at the Arts Festival was Paul Crockett who guessed 333. There were 335 buttons in that jar. Each winner will receive two AMC theater tickets.

The next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Burbank Historical Society’s Gordon R. Howard Museum on Clark Avenue next door to the Creative Arts Center in Izay Park. Parking is available in the park lots on Clark.

For information on volunteering or becoming a sponsor, email David Freedman at dsfreedman@mindspring.com.


NEW VIDEO: Burbank On Parade

Burbank On Parade was held on April 14, 2012 down Olive Ave from Keystone to Lomita. The annual parade features local civic leaders and groups who come out every year. Deborah Dodge is once again on mike to bring you some interviews of people on the route and Elizabeth M. Johnson brings you all the action from her camera. Once again, the editing of Cipriano Taylor is outstanding on this BurbankNBeyond production.


If you would like to see our photo gallery by Ross A. Benson, here is a direct link http://burbanknbeyond.com/?p=9512

Burbank On Parade Flies High

Burbank High School Cheerleaders get ready for the start of this years Burbank On Parade. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The rain went away and the sun came out to shine once again on Burbank On Parade Saturday.  Our Photographer, Ross A. Benson, was all over the parade route and got all of the sites as only he can.  Check back next week for our video on the parade also.

Everybody like a little squirt, this Bob Hope Airport crash rig gives a big squirt during this year's Burbank On Parade. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Ross A. Benson’s Parade Photo Gallery

Burbank-Burroughs Alumni Band is a Long-Time Burbank On Parade Tradition

When the Burbank-Burroughs Alumni Band marches down Olive Ave. in Burbank On Parade, they will be carrying on a tradition that the group began over 25 years ago.

The band is primarily composed of former band members from both John Burroughs and Burbank High Schools. They also have former drill team members from the two schools. The group came about in 1986, when Joanne Lento Miller got some her old band friends together to perform the half-time show for the alumni football game. Apparently everyone had such a good time, that they decided to keep on playing together and marched in Burbank On Parade that year. They’ve been doing it ever since.

Marching in Burbank On Parade is the band’s main activity. In the early years they marched in the Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena. Most years the band also participates in the Montrose Christmas Parade. It’s no easy task to get the band together. Not everyone lives locally. Some members come a long way just to march down Olive Ave. from Keystone St. past Izay Park to Lomita St.

Cindy Smith, who graduated from Burroughs in 1966, is coming all the way from Amarillo, Texas again this year to play her clarinet. Greg Hartman, a 1972 graduate of Burroughs, will be here from his home in Bakersfield. Bill Kuzma, from the Burbank High class of 1965, comes down each year from Novato, in the San Francisco Bay area, to direct the band. Besides playing in the Burbank High band as a student, Kuzma was director the school’s band director in the 1970’s, as well as director of the Burbank Police Boys Band.

The band’s uniform is fairly simple, jeans, and a white T-shirt with the Alumni Band logo on the front, and the member’s first name and graduation year on the back. For Burroughs it is in red, and blue for Burbank High alumni. This year, in keeping with the parade’s aviation theme, the drill team members will be wearing rolled up jeans and bandana in their hair “ala Rosie the Riveter.” Joyce Rudolph is director of the drill team.

Although small in numbers, the Alumni Band makes up for it in enthusiasm. Band manager Cheryl Smith McMillan, along with other stalwart members, keeps the band going year after year. Most members have their own instruments, but some don’t, so over the years she has managed to obtain several musical instruments. She has a number of horns, and even marching drums. So in many cases, the lack of an instrument is no deterrent to someone who wants to join the group.

You don’t have to be an alumna of Burbank or Burroughs to join the band. You don’t even need to make a big commitment of your time to participate. Rehearsals are held the morning of the parade. Any musician, drill team member, majorette, tall flag, or others who are interested, are welcome. The music is traditional high school marching band music.

You can find out more about the band on their Facebook page, or email them at burbankalumniband@yahoo.com.

Burbank On Parade: Grupo Folklorico Mi Bella Guatemala Returns

Grupo Folklorico Mi Bella Guatemala is returning this year to Burbank On Parade with another float they hope will take home honors. Lilian Avila, coordinator, and her volunteers are creating a design in keeping with the aviation theme.

“But I want to keep it a surprise,” she said.

Avila participates in the parade because she is proud to call Burbank her home. “I love Burbank and I have been living here many years,” she said. “I like to share my culture with the city.”

Last year, the parade theme celebrated Burbank’s centennial year, so Avila and her group built a huge three-layer cake. They piled three tables of descending sizes on top of each other and she sewed covers

for each tier and applied white lace along the top edge to look like icing. It won second place.

Members of her group perform folkloric Mayan dances accompanied by wooden handmade instruments– the marimba and chirimilla. The group wears costumes designed by indigenous craftsmen who spend months dyeing and preparing the detailed cloth. Evaniria Dubon owns the costumes.

“We are proud to share our culture and show our costumes because they are very unique,” Avila said.

Members participating this year are Elder Morales, Arturo Perez Solares, Maria Blackburn, Alex Munoz, Fernando Alvarez, Brian Munoz, Edwin Antoni Reyes, Elvina Vasquez, Socorro Leiva, Raul Herrera, Juanita Canel, Teresa Gomez, Chelli Cortez, Mario Alberto Dubon, Roni Antonio Donis Dubon, Edwin Rafael Donis Dubon and Silvia Salcedo.

After the parade, the group’s participants gather at Izay Park for a picnic, Avila said. The foods are traditional favorites.

“There is a bakery that makes the same bread like we make in our country,” she said.


Burbank On Parade: Strike Up The Band For Bill Kuzma

Memories old and new are what keep Bill Kuzma coming back each year to direct the Burbank Burroughs Alumni Band in Burbank On Parade.

A 1965 graduate of Burbank High School, Kuzma was the band director at his alma mater from 1970 to 1980. He also was with the Burbank Police Boys Band and later Burbank Police Youth Band as a member, drum major, assistant director from about 1963 and then became director in 1971.

He remained director from 1971 to 1979.

One of his favorite memories as drum major of the Police Boys Band was the year they participated in a parade to determine the Southern California Youth Band Championship in Lynwood.

“When I went on stage for the award ceremony I was told that we had won the Music Sweepstakes Award for being the best band and named champion. It was our first of many six-foot musical sweepstakes trophies,” he said.

A memory that stands out for Kuzma as director happened during the tour to Europe taken by the Burbank High School Band and Drill Team. They were performing an outdoor concert on the Fourth of July in Kufstein, Austria, at the base of a bluff that had a castle at the top.

“I invited children in the audience to come direct the ‘Stars and Stripes Forever,’ by Sousa and our sousaphone player had tears coming down his face because of the emotion of the moment –playing such a historic American classic in a foreign country,” he said. “At the end of the concert, as the sun was setting into darkness, there was organ music blasting from the castle a la Dracula.”

The memories come flooding back when he returns every year to direct the band in the community parade. The best part is seeing the friends he has made over the years, he said.

“I truly enjoy seeing people who have had music in their background come back and perform again whether or not they have kept up on their instrument. Being in a band or related performing group like drill team, color guard, flag team and banner carriers makes one part of a select family — almost like having ‘circus blood’ in your veins.

“It’s fun to perform (after a very short rehearsal) and catch up with people who you knew as young adults and see how and what they’re doing now as adults. Recapturing memories and making new ones!”

When the Parade Starts – Don’t Look Down the Street – Look Up in the SKY!

Opening the parade with a flyover will be a couple of helicopters, one of them Burbank Police Department’s own Hughes MD520 Notar® helicopter (no tail rotor blades). It is one of three units that is operated by Burbank’s Air Support Unit.

Burbank provides patrol services to cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena along with emergency services provided to other government agencies when requested. These helicopters cost in the range of $1.5 million when fully outfitted with all the police departments special equipment, such as Moving Maps, GPS, Computer Downlink, radios, Lo-Jack system and a flir. (Forward looking inferred camera).

The top airspeed of these helicopters is 160 Knots or about 170 MPH but to conserve fuel, normal patrol cruise speed is around 60 MPH and while working standard patrol they fly around 500 feet altitude. When working a perimeter at a possible crime scene, they can lower to 300 feet. Helicopters do not have minimum height requirements but need to fly high enough to be able to land in auto rotation mode in the case of an emergency.

The helicopters are also used for surveillance, SWAT insertion, fire long line operations, fire observation flights, photo flights, search and rescue missions , and conducts ‘green pool’ mosquito abatement operations with city inspectors.

The staff of the unit, located at the Bob Hope Airport, consists of five police officers, one sergeant and one civilian mechanic. The unit is combination of personnel from both the Burbank and Glendale Police Departments. The unit works seven days a week and depending on the day of the week will be on duty until 2:00 in the morning.

Joining Burbank’s helicopter today possibly will be helicopters from LA County Fire Department, Los Angeles City Fire Department and LA County Sheriff depending on their availability.

Today’s Air Boss will be Burbank Police Sergeant Robert Quesada. When he makes his appearance overhead you will all know it and make sure you give him a wave because he’s looking down and waving back.


Burbank ON Parade: Grand Marshalls Get Ready For Their Day

Two legends in aviation came together to talk about their careers and be recognized Tuesday at a press conference in the Bob Hope Airport Skyroom in Burbank. The event was to promote Burbank on Parade planned for 11 a.m. Saturday.

Clay Lacy, in the flesh, and Robert Gilliland, via speaker phone from his home in Palm Desert, took center stage, reminiscing about their careers and answering questions from the media, parade officials and airport employees.

Gilliland was the test pilot for the first 10 flights of the SR-71 Blackbird series. He has logged more experimental supersonic flight test time above Mach 2 and Mach 3 than any other pilot, and helped to introduce America’s top fighter jets to European allies.

Lacy flew for 40 years for United Airlines and used to fly in and out of Burbank airport. He was the company’s #1 pilot when he retired. He holds 29 aviation speed records and flew the P-51 Mustang and the F-86 Sabre as a member of the National Guard while stationed in Van Nuys in 1954.

“I’m very pleased to be in Burbank’s parade,” he said. “I’m honored, since I don’t live here but I spent a lot of time in one of those two big hangars.”

Lacy was referring to his time working for Allen Paulson at California Airmotive Corp., which was based on the airport property during the late 1950s, ‘60s and early ‘70s. The company sold used planes, especially airliners.

Lacy sold corporate airplanes to businesses, he said. “I was selling planes all over the world,” Lacy said. “I was a demonstration pilot and I trained pilots for the customers we sold

airplanes to.”

Lacy is looking forward to sharing the limelight with Gilliland when they ride in the parade on Saturday, he said.

“I have so much admiration for him,” Lacy said. “He was one of the best test pilots in the world and test piloted the planes that were on the leading edge of technology at the time.”

The event that led to Gilliland’s first flight happened in 1960. An American CIA U-2 spy plane was shot down by a Russian missile over the Soviet Union.

Clarence Kelly Johnson, chief aircraft designer for Lockheed’s secret Skunkworks division from the 1930s to the ‘70s, set out to design a plane that could fly higher and faster than the enemy, Lacy said. Gilliland’s fighter pilot experience was the reason Johnson brought him on as the test pilot for the SR-71, Gilliland said.

Gilliland volunteered for a combat tour in Korea in 1952 flying the F-84 in a fighter-bomber unit at K-2 Airport, Taegu, Korea. He returned to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany in 1953 where he flew the F-86F Sabre Jet. Next he was assigned as a test fighter pilot at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and the U.S. Armament Center.

In 1960 Gilliland joined Lockheed as a civilian test pilot flying the F-104 Starfighter. A model of that fighter is now displayed in front of Olive Recreation Center, next to the Gordon R. Howard Museum in Burbank.

“The F-104 was chosen by London as the best fighting machines for the 20th century,” he said.

The engine was built by General Electric, he added, and all the major United States allies used it.

“I’m proud that the Italian air force flew the F-104 longer than any other country–40 years,” he said.