Flashback Friday: Alameda’s 4th of July Parade 2017

The 4th of July Parade in Alameda, California (10 miles/16 km east of San Francisco) is one of the largest Independence Day parades in the United States, with over 170 floats and 2,500 participants.

A little over 3 miles/5 km long, the parade route is also the longest route in the United States, drawing over 60,000 spectators from around the Bay Area.

Unfortunately, there won’t be any floats, horses, marching bands, dancers, or vintage cars this year. The 4th of July Parade for 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic.

In honor of the holiday, I’d like to share 4 of my favorites from the 2017 parade:

Alameda’s 4th of July Parade 2017 – I love the beignets at Café Jolie!
Alameda’s 4th of July Parade 2017 – honoring all the brave people serving in the Armed Forces
Alameda’s 4th of July Parade 2017
Alameda’s 4th of July Parade 2017 – a mini BART train!

What do we celebrate on the 4th of July?

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 2, 1776, but it wasn’t approved by the Second Continental Congress until July 4, 1776. We celebrate the day that the thirteen colonies gained independence from Great Britain.

The famous passage says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Since there won’t be parades, carnivals, large family reunions, and fireworks this year, it’ll be a good opportunity to reflect and think about those words.

An unalienable (or inalienable) right is something that can’t be given away or denied, like freedom.

But recent events have shown that we’re not quite living up to the Founding Fathers’ ideals.

Ask any person of color, woman, or member of the LGBTQIA community in America!

It just goes to show that even on its 244th birthday, the United States is still a relatively young nation and we’ve still got lots of work to do!

Happy Independence Day! 🇺🇸


  1. I always teach my classes that “inalienable” is the correct form (parallel to inactive, inadvertent, etc.). But I’ve just looked it up and find that both forms are correct and in common use since the 17th century. And I found this: “The word in the final version of the Declaration of Independence is “unalienable,” though it’s “inalienable” in earlier versions of the document.”
    Judging from the handwriting of the various drafts, it appears that Thomas Jefferson preferred “inalienable” and John Adams preferred “unalienable”.
    This sort of thing gets really confusing when you consider adjective/noun pairs such as unable/inability, unequal/inequality, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points! I think Jefferson and Adams could have just used the “non-“ prefix and called it a day! I’d add to your list of irregular adj/noun pairs: unstable/instability; unjust/injustice… I love grammar puzzles like these!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I was out riding my bike just now, I got the idea that maybe Jefferson preferred “inalienable” because he lived in France for several years (inaliénable). But when I got home I looked it up and found that Adams also spoke fluent French, though he wasn’t as much of a francophile as Jefferson.

        Liked by 1 person

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