Star-Spangled Success: 40th Bird Rock July 4th Parade Marches Into History

Parade organizers and brothers Russ and Scott Murfey before the parade’s 10 a.m. start

The 2019 Bird Rock 4th of July Festival & Parade drew 2,000 people, on par with recent parades, to watch and take part in its 40th march up Beaumont Avenue.

“It was a great gathering of local Bird Rock families and neighbors,” said resident Barbara Dunbar. “It is a fabulous neighborhood tradition.”

Parade organizers Russ and Scott Murfey, co-owners of the Murfey (construction) Company, said they were “thrilled” with the turnout and the fun that seemed to be had by all.

“It was an amazing 40th-year celebration,” Russ said. “It went off without a hitch and I thought it was the best year yet.”

The parade was founded as the Beaumont Avenue Parade in 1980 by several neighbors including Russ and Scott’s parents, Buddy and Barbara Murfey. Every year since, it has started at 10 a.m. on the corner of Beaumont Avenue and Camino de la Costa, marching north along Beaumont for two long blocks before terminating in the parking lot of La Jolla Methodist Church, 6063 La Jolla Blvd. This year, two photo booths sponsored by CEG Interactive, a face-painter, multiple balloon artists and a class-rock band, Stone Horse, awaited parade-goers behind the church.

Best float was won yet again by resident Josh Oliver, whose float, “Except When You Don’t,” recreated several pages from this year’s parade theme — Dr. Seuss’s 1990 book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” — by having five yellow-swathed neighborhood toddlers fake-fly in balloons. (Oliver, who has participated in all 40 parades, may have had a slight advantage: He got to pick this year’s theme because he won best float in last year’s parade, themed Tomorrowland, with a flying saucer float.)

Second place went to Mike Glancy and Earl Rohde Plumbing’s “Seuss O’rama” float, and third to “High Fliers,” the float featuring Tom Nowaczyk and his family and friends.

As of press time, the parade raised $5,670 of the $10,000 it cost to put on, leaving a $4,330 bill for the Murfeys. Donations are still being accepted at