A Hair-Raising Fourth

Jeannie Rodriguez    One of the unexpected entries to this year’s parade was “Bob Ross Paints Alameda!” Ross, a longtime television painter famous for his “happy trees” and iconic Afro is connected to the Island City through Alameda resident Elsa Greene, 84. According to the family, Greene was Ross’ hairstylist for about a decade. As seen above, everyone in the Greene family’s float sported a Bob Ross Afro wig.

TV painter Ross’ hairdresser amid floats in July 4 Parade

Alameda’s Fourth of July Parade represents life in the Island City through its series of entrants from every corner of the community. From public officials, to sponsors, to herds of horses and the people shoveling up after them, and entries presenting everything from political statements to blatant advertising, everyone receives a cheer. Each year judges choose the best entries to the parade who receive trophies or medals. 

The 2019 Mayor’s Trophy for best in parade went to the 300 Block of Haight Avenue and its Star Wars-themed entry. The rest of the winners fall into categories:

Floats
First place: Bob Ross Paints Alameda; second: To America from the Heart of England: Berkeley Morris; third: Art Jam Group from Rhythmix Cultural Works.

Vehicles
First place: Alameda Theatre & Cineplex; second: Sikh Riders of America; third: Summer of Loving your Medicare: Calyx Health Care and Calyx Advantage.

Bicycles
First place: Alameda Bicycle Family Rides; second: Alameda Council Boy Scouts of America; third: Westside Joe’s.

Walking
First place: East Bay Toishan Association; second: International Chi Institute; third: Bay Isle Gymnastics.

School Bands
First place: Encinal High School; second: Academy of Alameda; third (tie): Alameda High School and Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School.

Civilian Bands
First place: The Mighty Neptunes; second place: Oldies but Goodies by East Bay Municipal Utilities District.

Equestrian Sweepstake
Hayward Hills Charros

Equestrian Group Open
Otaez Mexican Restaurant

Equestrian Mounted Group
First place: Rancho El Alfortunado; second: Los Amigos Vaqueros.