Thousand Oaks 50th Anniversary Parade to Offer a Blast From the Past

Jungleland's Camel Brigade, Conejo Valley Days parade, 1962

Photo courtesy: City of Thousand Oaks Parade Committee

Thousand Oaks resident John Short said he was “honored” to be asked to organize his city’s 5oth anniversary parade after being approached by City Manager Scott Mitnick back in January.

“After accepting the task, I called five of my friends to meet at my office,” said the former president of the Thousand Oaks Little League and local businessman. “Twenty people showed up.” Since then, Short says there has been a “huge ground swell” of interest. Currently 90 people are involved in the planning, and the Kiwanis Club will be in charge on the day of operations, according to Short. There is also an official website, toparade.com.

The parade will have the theme, “Remembering the past, honoring the memories,” and will take place September 27th from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thousand Oaks Boulevard from Duesenberg Drive to Erbes Road. The city was officially incorporated on October 7, 1964.

Girls on horseback for Conejo Valley Days Parade, 1965

Photo courtesy: City of Thousand Oaks Parade Committee

The parade will celebrate local history with a “broad spectrum” of participants and will include vintage cars, antique fire engines, Conejo Valley area high school marching bands and equestrians. “We’re also going to have an original lion trainer from Jungleland,” Short said. In addition, Short wants to see community members break a world record. “We hope to create the world’s longest Lego chain,” he said. That event will take place at the Civic Arts Plaza in front of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Currently there are 60 floats participating in the event, but Short would like to expand this number to 120 and is asking for residents to get involved. The floats should replicate life 50 years or have a western theme, he said.

To get involved, Short can be reached at www.toparade.com/contact-us.html. Applications for bands, floats, car clubs, and equestrian units are now being accepted.


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