ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. , 2023) — The streets of downtown Anaheim will fill with African American pride, family fun and community celebration on Saturday, Feb. 4, as the 43rd annual Orange County Black History Parade & Unity Fair returns.
Thousands are expected to line the streets around City Hall to watch a procession of marching bands, dance teams, double Dutch squads, community groups, dignitaries, vintage and exotic cars and more.
A Unity Festival street fair follows the parade with music, food trucks, vendors, a college fair, youth village, health screenings and acustom car and motorcycle show.
“The sense of community and togetherness of this event is an inspiration to us all,” said Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken, who will ride in the parade along with other members of Anaheim’s City Council. “It is an honor and source of pride for Anaheim to host Orange County’s only Black History Month parade. Each year, the parade brings thousands of people together to celebrate African American contributions and culture and to enjoy great food, entertainment and family fun.”
2023 marks Anaheim’s 11th year hosting the parade (with no parade in 2021 amid the pandemic).
The parade and fair is organized by the Orange County Heritage Council, a volunteer nonprofit that promotes cultural awareness and the historical contributions of Blacks in Orange County and across the nation.
What to know
- What: Orange County Black History Parade & Unity Fair
- When: Saturday, Feb. 4
- Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Parade: 10 a.m.
- Unity Festival: noon
- Parking: City Hall, Center Street parking structures
- Cost: Free! Food and crafts for purchase
The Black History Parade stages at the southeast corner of Pearson Park, just north of Lincoln Avenue in downtown.
The parade, led by Grand Marshal Adai Lamar of 102.3 Radio Free KJLH and local host of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” then travels south from Pearson Park onto Lincoln to Anaheim Boulevard, where it travels south to Water Street for about half a mile.
The parade lasts for about an hour ends at Water Street.
Viewers can see the parade from either side of Anaheim Boulevard along the route.
The parade’s announcers will be at Anaheim Boulevard and Center Street Promenade, in front of City Hall.
The Unity Fair sets up in the morning and gets into full swing after the parade around noon.
The street fair is along Center Street Promenade from Anaheim Boulevard to about Harbor Boulevard and includes intersecting Lemon and Clementine streets.
It includes arts, crafts, games and food as well as a college fair and health village with basic screening services.
Performance stages will feature bands and DJs, while a culture stage features guest speakers, artists and Black history discussions.
Parking for the parade and street fair is available in structures around City Hall.
The easiest parking is in the structure just east of City Hall off Broadway and a red brick structure along Center Street East, just northeast of City Hall.
Additional structures are along Anaheim Boulevard, accessible from the north via West Lehman Way.
Everyone is welcome to watch the parade and join the street fair. But if you’re not planning on joining, it’s best to avoid the area for your own convenience.
The area around Pearson Park will be closed early Saturday at around 6:45 a.m. for parade staging.
Anaheim Boulevard from Lincoln to Water, as well as streets intersecting with Anaheim Boulevard, will start closing around 8:30 a.m. through about noon.
Center Street Promenade and adjoining streets will close early Saturday and reopen early Saturday evening.