ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 31, 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 a custom 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 on Lemon Street 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 near City Hall.
The Unity Fair sets up early Saturday 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 feature bands and DJs, while a culture stage hosts 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.
Please note: City Hall structure parking will be impacted by the closure of Broadway (see road closures below).
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.
Here are Saturday road closures:
Lemon Street and Cypress Street at the southeast corner of the park will close starting at 6:45 a.m. for parade staging. Park streets are expected to reopen around 11:30 a.m.
Closed from Clementine Street to just east of Anaheim Boulevard starting at 8 a.m. This is where the parade launches, going south on Lemon Street from Pearson Park to Lincoln and then onto the main route down Anaheim Boulevard. Lincoln should reopen by noon.
Closed from Lincoln for about a half mile to Water Street starting at 9 a.m. Anaheim Boulevard is expected to reopen by noon after the parade ends.
Closed from Olive Street to Lemon Street staring 9 a.m. Please note: this will impact later arrival parking in the City Hall parking structure. Broadway is expected to reopen by noon.
SANTA ANA STREET, OTHERS INTERSECTING WITH ANAHEIM BOULEVARD
Santa Ana Street and others intersecting with Anaheim Boulevard will be closed at or near the intersection starting at 9 a.m. and reopening around noon.
CENTER STREET PROMENADE AREA
Center Street Promenade and adjoining Clementine and Lemon streets will close early Saturday morning to set up the street fair, which gets in full swing around noon. The Center Street Promenade area will reopen around 6 p.m.