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Mission Parade Seeks a Multicultural Look


Organizers of the San Fernando Mission Bicentennial are looking for cultural groups to march in a parade during the upcoming three-day festival.

Cultural organizations of all kinds are welcome to participate in the parade, which will focus on the rich and varied history of the San Fernando Valley, said aides for Councilman Richard Alarcon, who appointed a 32-member committee to plan the September event.

In addition to parade participants, organizers are also asking for volunteers to help with a number of festival jobs, including decorating parade floats.

The celebration, scheduled for Sept. 5 through 7, will include a candlelight procession to the mission, a morning parade, art exhibits, storytelling, Aztec dancers, salsa bands, mariachis and a Sunday Mass celebrated by Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Couples married at the mission will also be invited to renew their vows in a special ceremony at Memory Gardens in Brand Park, once mission property.

From 8:30 a.m. until noon Saturday, the public is invited to Brand Park to learn about the celebration and to help clean up Memory Gardens.

"We have, for over a year now, been working to restore the gardens," said Cynthia Negrete, a member of the organizing committee. "We've finally cleaned it up enough to the point we are ready to plant. Saturday will be our planting day."

To inquire about volunteering, or to participate in the parade, call Lori Wheeler, field deputy for Alarcon, at (818) 756-8409.

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