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“The First Responders” of the devasting Thomas Fire will serve as Grand Marshal of 30th St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17.

The theme of this year’s parade, which begins in front of Mission San Buenaventura at 10 a.m., is “ VENTURA STRONG” and we are proud to have as our grand marshal those brave men and women who were: The First Responders.

On December 4, 2017 a fast-moving active brush fire that started North of Santa Paula along Highway 150 and Bridge Road was pushed by strong east winds through the City of Ventura. The Thomas Fire burned 281,893 acres and was 100% contained on January 12, 2018 –1 month and 8 days from its start and became the California’s largest wild fire in history. 1,063 structures were destroyed and 280 structures were damaged. In Ventura more than 500 structures were destroyed and 100 damaged. Many residents of Ventura and Santa Barbara lost their homes and all of their possessions and two lives were lost.

We honor those that did their best to fight back this devastating fire. We honor and thank the multi-agency response: CAL FIRE, Ventura County Fire, Ventura County Sheriffs, The Ventura Fire Department, The Ventura Police Department, USFS/Los Padres National Forest, CAL OES, the Red Cross, Southern California Edison, CHP, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, SoCaGas, Crimson Pipeline, Wildfire Defense Systems, CA Resources Group, Santa Paula Police, Santa Paula Fire, Ventura County OES, and Santa Barbara OEM and the many organizations such as the Ventura County Fair Grounds and the Ventura Harbor.

We hope the whole county will come out on St. Patrick’s Day to say thanks by lining Main Street with thank you signs. Last year’s parade drew over 90 entries, including floats sponsored by civic groups, nonprofits and local businesses and restaurants; marching bands; car clubs; horses; clowns and the Biggest Green Pig in the World. There also will be high school bands, youth groups and fun-loving adult groups entered in the parade.

In the spirit of this year’s parade theme, the organizing committee also encourages all to bring thank you signs honoring our First Responders.

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