EL SOBRANTE -- About 25,000 celebrants are expected to walk along San Pablo Dam Road on Sept. 16 at the 19th annual El Sobrante Stroll, which this year has the theme "Honoring Our Military."
San Pablo Dam Road will be closed to motor traffic from El Portal Drive to Appian Way from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow for setting up and taking down the attractions for the festivities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The annual parade at 11 a.m. will honor all branches of the U.S. military and feature more than 200 participating units, including marching bands.
All along the road will be activities, community and vendor booths, food areas, five stages with live entertainment, two classic car shows, demonstrations and a regular favorite, the professional bicycle stunt show hosted by The Pedaler Bike Shop.
Because the stroll was established as a showcase for the heart of the commercial area in El Sobrante, many of the restaurants and businesses on the road will also be open.
Organizers say the event has grown steadily since the first stroll attracted about 2,000 people in 1993, which is why this year there will be two park-and-ride lots -- one at Interstate 80 at Hilltop Drive, the other at the Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante at 4660 Appian Way -- served by a continuous shuttle.
In keeping with this year's theme, the Pinole-based U.S. War Dogs Association, Chapter 1, (www.chapter1.uswardogs.org) will have a booth selling items as a fundraiser to to support military working dogs and their handlers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Also worth looking for will be the El Sobrante Historical Society booth, which will have a display of artifacts and photographs, copies of the Images of America: El Sobrante book and a 2013 calendar featuring images from a calendar issued by Skow Dairy in 1951.