Santa Clara’s Parade of Champions Celebrates and Delights Mission City

By Robert Haugh

The beloved Santa Clara Parade of Champions was held on Saturday, October 9. After returning in 2019 after a long absence, the parade was held virtually in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The parade featured several marching bands, including the World-renowned Santa Clara Vanguard. The parade also included many community groups, large balloons, dance, cheer and martial arts performances and more.

Krazy George Henderson was the grand marshal. The former Buchser High teacher is a professional cheerleader who invented The Wave.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and the entire City Council participated, as well as many local elected officials including County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, State Assemblyman Alex Lee and the West Valley-Mission Community College Board of Trustees.

SJ Sharkie, Earthquakes’ mascot Q, and Sparky the Fire Dog were fan favorites.

“I wanted to highlight that to ensure the parade returns annually for the next 50 years, we brought back the Santa Clara Parade of Champions incorporated as its own nonprofit 501c3 with a board and officer structure in 2019. Active Volunteerism is an important part of our Board participation. Our charitable partner has been JW House since its founding in 2019,” says Ana Vargas-Smith, President of the non-profit.

Major event sponsors were Devcon, Silicon Valley Korean American Federation, Core Properties, Mission Trail Waste Systems, Fateh Foundation/Troop1699, Patti Allmon Coldwell Properties, The Brasil Group, Lamb Partners, and ELG Partners.

“Without Santa Clara City sponsorship of our city services and support we could not have a parade,” adds Smith. Additional support through comes through a grant from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

Parade of Champions Board of Directors:

President Ana Vargas-Smith; Treasurer Karen Ardizzone; Secretary Patti Allmon; Jodi Muirhead; Andy Ratermann; and Mike Lombardi CPA. Consultants include Ray Pulver of Upbeat Productions (logistics expert) and Greg Green for Web/tech

The 2021 Parade day operations team: Dan Meyberg, Mike Walke, Margaret Horoszko, Nancy Biagini, and Dan Vannata

Editor’s Note: Added additional information at 2 p.m. after we had published.


  1. The Parade should move locations around the City yearly. Current location, then say Central Park, Near the old Agnews, a stretch of El Camino Real, and other points of interest in the City. Then once the large related project is completed it could find a permanent home with a new and lively downtown with Levi’s stadium and Great America fully participating.

    • are you referring to the new downtown (near Levi’s stadium)? I am always confused on where is Santa Clara downtown?

    • Shhh.
      The area by Levi’s is more uptown than a downtown.
      The residents get really upset when you call that area
      Downtown. The Downtown is by the SCUniversity.

  2. The Parade Of Champions is indeed all that is good about Santa Clara and a labor of LOVE by so many

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