The dog days of summer will get off to a more literal start than usual when this year’s Valley Village July 4th celebration parades a bunch of therapy dogs from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) program through the neighborhood.
The Grand Marshal is no other than Valley Village legend Bonner, a nearly 200-pound Newfoundland who has been serving his community as a volunteer at Children’s Hospital for seven and a half years. Bonner works primarily with ill and injured children, who are themselves working toward rehabilitation, by assisting in their physical and occupational therapy. He also spent hundreds of hours last holiday season raising awareness of dog therapy by participating in a 38-performance run of “Peter Pan” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Bonner will be joined by 15 of his best buddy therapy dogs, so we will have 16 of more than 100 dedicated dog volunteers who, alongside their human handlers, bring the physical, social and emotional benefits of dog therapy to more than 10,000 young patients at CHLA every year. Dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds visit in shifts, from morning to night, seven days a week.
The program is funded entirely by donations. We will expect a big crowd again at this year’s Parade, to hear the bands from North Hollywood and Birmingham high Sschools, snack on donuts and watermelon, and catch up with friends and neighbors. We also expect many decorated bikes, wagons, scooters and golf carts to add to the festivities.
Everyone collects at Valley Village Park after the parade.
As usual, the Parade starts at 10am, walkers and bikers are asked to line up on Addison Street, between Morella and Colfax. From there, they will be ably escorted by VVHA volunteers and officers from LAPD down Ben Avenue, right on Otsego Street, across Colfax Avenue to Irvine Avenue. We will turn right on Irvine, left on Hesby Street and proceed to Westpark Drive and Valley Village Park where the Parade ends. We ask that cars park on Morella and only enter from Huston Street.
Homeowners on the route, please take your cars off the street, if possible, as a safety precaution.
And there will be a 3-prize raffle open to anyone, resident or not, who joins renews their membership in Valley Village Homeowners Association on the day! Make sure you get in on the action, go to the VVHA booth and sign up!
Safety rules require that no one stands in a moving vehicle and there’s no sitting or standing on the back of trucks.