Parade of Champions Return is a Huge Hit

By Robert Haugh

After an absence of 24 years, the Mission City’s beloved Parade of Champions returned. 

We went. We had fun. We took some selfies.

We received a lot of positive feedback from community members about Santa Clara News Online. We appreciate it. 

The return of the much-anticipated parade, which was at one point the second-largest parade in California included floats, balloons, marching bands, local community organizations, local youth sports teams and businesses.

Grand marshals were Wilcox alum and former Oakland A’s star Carney Lansford, soccer icon Brandi Chastain, legendary SCU soccer coach Jerry Smith and Wilcox High Coach and athletic director Paul Rosa

Community spirit and pride were flowing like champagne after a World Series victory. The entire City Council: Mayor Lisa Gillmor, Vice Mayor Patty Mahan, Councilman Raj Chahal, and Councilwomen Kathy Watanabe, Debi Davis, Teresa O’Neill and Karen Hardy participated in the City’s float.

Santa Claran of the year Dorothy Rosa was featured as well. Many other local dignitaries, past and present attended, such as District 4 County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg and Lobbyist and Former Councilman Kevin Moore, who helped with Parade fundraising efforts. 

Kudos to the many organizers who we’ve listed before. And here’s a link to the sponsors who contributed in big and small ways.

The parade last took place in 1995. Parade founders Larry Marsalli and Ed Cunha had family members on-hand for the festivities. 

There’s plenty of Champions to celebrate in Santa Clara. We look forward to another 50 years of parades. 


  1. Was beautiful and wonderful to have the parade back for first time since 1995 (i was 10 years old). Kudos to Anna Vargas-Smith and the rest of the Parade of Champions board and volunteers.

    Credit also goes to city council for investing into it. It’s great to have it back again and reintroduce a tradition to a new generation.
    A tremendous job and can’t wait till the 2nd parade of champions in 2020.

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