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With a predicted heat index of 101, organizers say people should focus on being hydrated by consuming a substantial amount of water – even before you get out the door on your way to the  Village’s 65th Annual Parade on Thursday.

“Bring your umbrella so you can protect yourself from the sun – I think that’s what most people should do,” said Michele Estevez, a longstanding organizer.

Village workers started setting up barricades Wednesday and a couple of eager-beaver parade watchers staked out tents along the parade route. 

The march is rain or shine – but it may be delayed in the event of a thunderstorm with lightning. 

The National Weather Service is predicting the day to be largely sunny with a high around 87. There’s a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms. But the heat index will start at 97 at 11 a.m. and could climb as high as 101.

The colorful array of marchers and floats starts at 11 a.m. starting on Harbor Drive, continuing down Crandon Boulevard. A grant from the Village of Key Biscayne and fundraising efforts by organizers fund the festivities, which has an estimated cost of $50,000 to $60,000. 

Billed as one of the longest-running in the tri-county area, the parade had 70 entries as of Wednesday morning. Miami North West, Saint Andrews Pipe, North Miami Beach Senior, Epic Attraction Marching Unit, and Mass Destruction Marching are the marching bands.

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Numerous golf carts, floats, walking groups, pickup trucks, bikes and trailers will all be passing by. 

Tim Stickney, a retired attorney who previously oversaw the parade as master of ceremonies many years ago, is this year’s marshal. Marshals are selected based on their record of community service.

In this election year, politicians will also be on parade. Among those expected are congressional candidate Mike Davey, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Commissioner Raquel Regalado, State Rep. Vicki Lopez and her challenger,  Jackie Gross-Kellogg, Juan Carlos Planas, running for Supervisor of Elections; and the two Key Biscayne mayoral candidates, Joe Rasco and Charles Collins.

Reflecting on the efforts she and her team made, Estevez considers the parade’s actual day the last of a long series of steps — the group began work in October. 

“It’s very hard to put a parade like this together,” she said. “You need to be super organized.” 

BIILY JEAN LOUIS is the senior editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. A native of Port Au Prince, Haiti, Jean Louis  has worked for Bloomberg and the Baltimore Sun. He is a corps member of Report for America

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BIILY JEAN LOUIS is the senior editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. A native of Port Au Prince, Haiti, Jean Louis  has worked for Bloomberg and the Baltimore Sun. He is a corps member of Report for...