Disneyland, never noted for any reluctance to flaunt the national virtues and celebrate the American experience, unveiled its salute to the bicentennial during the weekend.
Called "America on Parade," it is a patriotic extravaganza complete with drum rolls and brusting fireworks that makes everything that has gone before here seem like headducking diffidence.
On the drawing boards for more than a year, the twice-a-day event is expected to attract more than ten million "Guests" to the amusement park this year, a total reached only twice before.
It features 150 dancers dressed in costumes and huge heads giving them a height of eight feet, who portray historical figures ranging from Columbus and the Pilgrim Fathers to space explorers and Saturday football hero.
They march, dance and caper along a three-quarter mile parade route winding through the 73.4 acre park, ending up at the square at the foot of Main Street. The dancers are accompanied by 50 floats whose themes whimsically commemorate the nation's growth, achievements and lifestyles.
And seeing as how Disneyland is also celebrating it's 20th anniversary this years, such cartoon favorites as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are out there strutting their stuff daily at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Disney officials are closed-mouthed about the cost of staging "America on Parade," which will run for 15 months, but, one saided it is a "multi-million-dollar" affair.
The economy may be in doldrums, but executives here are bullish about the future of the$159 million park, which has drawn more than 135 million "Guests" since opening in July 1955.
Attendance so far this year is running three per cent above last year, when 9.7 million "Guests" toured the 54 major attractions in the park. When Disneyland opened, it had only 22 major attractions worth $17 million.
Anaheim has kept pace with the park's growth. In 1955, the city had only 87 hotel and motel rooms and just 34 restaurants. Today there are more than 10,000 hotel rooms and more than 275 restaurants.