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Members of the Seaside and Marina ROTC flip their rifles in the air during the annual Labor Day Parade in Marina on Saturday.

Saturday was an occasion to play and to honor those who work, as a thousand people marched down Reservation Road in Marina amid cheering throngs of spectators in the city's 39th annual Labor Day Parade.

Among the participants were cops and kids, politicians and war heroes, marching bands, beauty queens, community organizations and, of course, a lot of hot cars and cool motorcycles.

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Marina resident Butch Fernandez led the way in a cream-colored 1926 Ford Phantom Model-T, which he bought a few years back from a friend in Hawaii. It's the third year he has driven it in the parade.

He didn't take it to last month's Concours d'Elegance, though: "I don't have that kind of money," he said. "Even though I think my car would be competitive."

Fernandez's VIP passengers Saturday were the honorary grand marshal, Mayor Bruce Delgado, and the mayor's wife, Natalie.

"We're passing out coupons from our local businesses all along the parade route today to see if we can get an economic boost," the mayor said. "We've got all of these people coming out of their homes, and others visiting our town today, and we want them to know where they can get their hair cut, where they can eat, where they can shop for clothing, where they can get ice cream. ... I think that's a nice new twist.



Delgado and Fernandez, a military veteran who spent 22 years with Monterey County's 173rd Airborne unit, led an eclectic line-up of entrants that included a raucous contingent from Marina Youth Soccer, athletes from Marina High School, a colorful group from the Monterey County Korean American Association of Fan Dancers, and the singing, dancing cast of "The Rocky Horror Show" from the Paper Wing Theatre Company.

The procession began at Crescent Avenue and concluded at the Marina Village Shopping Center, where townies and visitors congregated for a festival.

"We attached the parade to the festival two years ago, which is a nice way to bring everybody together in one place," Delgado said. "It's really a sweet tribute to who we are — a humble, very diverse, working-class town. I feel like we have a very quaint parade that hits a home run as far as who we are."

Dennis Taylor can be reached at 646-4344 or