MONTEREY PARK — Actor Gary Coleman, astride an elephant, will serve as the grand marshal of the May 20 parade to celebrate the city's founding 73 years ago. The parade, scheduled for 11 a.m., will be the centerpiece of a four-day annual event known as Play Days, which will begin May 18.
Besides Coleman, several other local and Hollywood celebrities will participate in the parade along Garvey Avenue. As a child actor, Coleman ascended to network television stardom in his role as Arnold on the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes."
Each day the celebration, themed "A Stroll Down Memory Lane," will feature carnival rides, food and game booths, and entertainment in Barnes Park at 350 S. McPherrin Ave. And on May 13, neighborhood "friendship" parties are scheduled in three city parks: Sierra Vista, Bella Vista and Sunnyslopes, according to Parks and Recreation Director Leonard Normand. Residents are encouraged to bring different ethnic foods and American foods to the potluck parties.