Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Wet Weather Doesn't Dampen History Day Parade

A young dancer shows her intensity
A young dancer shows her intensity.

The weather before and after the City’s 9th Annual African-American History Parade could not have been worse.
Rain pelted the parade route. The winds howled. Conditions were cold and miserable.

But something happened right before the start of the parade. The skies cleared, the sun came out and participants and parade-watchers enjoyed a great event, complete with marching bands, an honor guard, equestrian units, classic cars and plenty of dignitaries. City officials said Perris is committed to celebrating the accomplishments of African-Americans, not just during February Black History Month but throughout the entire year.

“Our Black History parade is a long-standing tradition in our City and it’s something we are proud to hold every year,” said Mayor Daryl Busch. “We are proud of our diversity and we are proud to be represented in this parade. The weather is not the greatest but the rain will not dampen the spirit of our community.”

The Color Guard from March Air Reserve Base led the City’s annual Black History Month parade
The Color Guard from March Air Reserve Base led the City’s annual Black History Month parade.

Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers said the City Council realizes it is “important to recognize the achievements of African-Americans in today’s society.

“Our parade goes on as we celebrate the heroes of African-American culture,” Rogers said.

Councilwoman Joanne Evans said African Americans have made many contributions to U.S. culture and society and that “it is extremely important to remember them.”

About 50 entries took part in the parade. Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, who lives in Perris, rode the route in an all-electric Mini-Cooper. Other dignitaries traveled the parade route along Perris Boulevard in classic cars. The inclement weather kept some people from attending but those that did said they were glad they came out to support the festivities.

Linda Williams and Danielle Wilburn got front-row seats to the parade.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch waves to the crowd that gathered along Perris Boulevard
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch waves to the crowd that gathered along Perris Boulevard.

“We want to support the Black History parade,” Williams said. “It’s great for our community and our youth. People should get more involved in the community.”

Parade Grand Marshal Norman Towels, recently retired from the Val Verde Unified School District, said celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans helps people of all nationalities and heritages that they are all part of America. Val Verde superintendent Jonathan Greenberg said the struggles of African Americans like Martin Luther King Jr. are universal.

“The spirit of Dr. King’s legacy must be remembered 365 day a year,” Greenberg said.

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said the parade was “another great example of the cultural diversity in our community.

“In Perris, we believe it is important to celebrate and recognize the diversity of our community,” he said. “There are other cities which are bigger and wealthier but they can’t organize an annual event like this. We are able to do this because of the commitment of our community and our City.”