HomeIsland LifeA grand old parade in Key Biscayne

A grand old parade in Key Biscayne

Despite sweltering temperatures and a heat index near 100, thousands gathered for 64th Key Biscayne Fourth of July Parade on Tuesday. The event drew marching bands as far away as Baltimore and featured everything from bagpipes to butterflies, as participants waded into the crowd.

After an aerial opening with Coast Guard fixed wing aircraft and a chopper, an F-16 from Homestead Air Force Reserve Base roared over Crandon Boulevard at 11 a.m., the traditional kickoff.

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A F-16 from Homestead Air Force Reserve Base screams over Crandon Blvd. in Key Biscayne, Fla. to kick off the 64th annual Fourth of July parade, Tues. July 4, 2023 (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)

Some float participants threw beads or candy, others stuffed animals, and one float fired pickleballs into the crowd. Return fire came in the way of super soakers, which for some came as a relief.

Police reported two heat-related medical calls that did not require transport and a child who briefly went missing, but was quickly reunited.

Joining the route were several members of the Village Council and Mayor Joe Rasco, who broke out into some dance moves along with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Also spotted was State Sen. Alexis Calatayud.

Key Biscayne Mayor Joe Rasco dances to music at the Key Biscayne Fourth of July parade, July 4, 2023 (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)

Traffic was cut to one lane during the parade, which allowed motorists — if they chose — to get get a good glimpse of the parade. A sanitation worker from Great Waste waved an American Flag as if to join the route, if only in spirit.

A sanitation worker gets into the parade spirit as a garbarge truck moves along Crandon Boulevard in Key Biscayne, July 4, 2023 (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)

Michele Estevez, a parade organizer, said a second band from Baltimore was not expected and forced some last-minute juggling. “That created a lot of the gaps,” she said.

“When we do the line-up, with the emcee, sometimes we don’t have enough noise. This year, we didn’t know what to do – we had too much music, but that is a good problem.”

KBI Photo Gallery – 2024 Parade and Fireworks


Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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