May Fête Parade returns to downtown Palo Alto Saturday

Annual children's parade features 'Happy Healthy Habits' theme

Local school bands, kids on bikes, pets in costume, Palo Alto officials and parade entrants, including electric cars designed and built by students from Jane Lathrop Stanford, Jordan and Terman middle schools, will take over University Avenue and surrounding streets during the 94th annual May Fête Children's Parade on Saturday, May 7.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. This year's theme is "Happy Healthy Habits" — an extension of the City Council's "Healthy Cities, Healthy Community" initiative, which was adopted in October 2015.

And in keeping with this year's theme, there will be activities, events and programs to engage the community and promote positive mental and physical healthy habits, according to the city.

This year's grand marshal is Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE), a community organization that provides support and enrichment opportunities to enable students to have the best education possible.

Some downtown streets will be closed on Saturday morning in preparation for the parade. Beginning at 6 a.m. and lasting until noon, University will be closed between High Street to Webster Street; and Webster Street will be closed between University and Homer, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.

Roads will re-open as the parade passes, but there will also be road closures in the area of Heritage Park, at 300 Homer Ave., until about 3 p.m., for the fair, according to police.

The fair, organized by the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto, will feature children's activities, food and performances from local groups.

For more information, visit

Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to share your photos from the parade and we'll share our favorites!

See photos from last year's parade here

To view a social media collection of photos from last year's event, visit the Weekly's Storify page


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6 people like this
Posted by Foreign Country
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 5, 2016 at 11:17 am

What happened to its old name "The Pet Parade?" A children's parade with kids walking with their pets and their decorated wagons and tricycles. The parade today consists of a bunch of pushy parents parading down the street with their kids. Boring!

8 people like this
Posted by Old time parader
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 5, 2016 at 11:56 am

I marched in the parade as a high-schooler in the early 70’s and the parade was pretty much as it is now- high school bands, handmade floats, different organizations showcasing their talents. I am thankful this lovely tradition has remained in our city, despite the passage of 40 years!

12 people like this
Posted by OLd-timer
a resident of Midtown
on May 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Don't know where "Foreign Country" has been. I suspect perceptions change when you move out of the time when your own kids are in the parade and you're one of the "pushy parents" to the time you're a passive spectator. I do know that our kids and our kids' kids have been in the May Fête parade since the 70s. Except for its being larger and having many more booths for entertainment and information at the end point, it's virtually the same as it was and has continued to be for the last 40 years.

I love that it is a tradition that our grandchildren can enjoy as much as their parents did.

3 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 6, 2016 at 11:10 am

Perhaps you are confusing "Pet Parade" title with the one that is held in Los Altos.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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