The Cocoa Beach Astronaut Parade starts at 9:34am on Saturday, May 7th (to coincide with the exact time America’s 1st astronaut in space ~ Alan B. Shepard ~ was launched aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule). At least 15 of the nation’s former and current astronauts (along with local dignitaries) will be riding in Corvettes to mark 50 years of human space flight.
The parade route is the same parade route that is used for the City’s annual Christmas Parade (beginning and ending at the “glass bank”).
After the parade, an “opening ceremony” will begin at 11:00am at the corner of Minutemen Causeway and Brevard Avenue to officially start the City’s 86th Anniversary Celebration/Party.
Local artists, food venders, live band entertainment, Corvette displays and games for the entire family will be the center of attraction adjacent to Cocoa Beach City Hall. Portions of Minutemen Causeway and Brevard Avenue will be blocked to local vehicular traffic throughout the day and evening hours.
Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of America’s first Astronaut in space, Alan B. Shepard, is scheduled to be first in line to lead Saturday’s May 7th Astronaut Parade in Cocoa Beach as the “Honorary Grand Marshall”. She will be followed by Mercury 7 Astronaut Scott Carpenter (one of two living astronauts from the original Mercury 7 program) who celebrated his 86th birthday on May 1, 2011. The nation is also honoring 50 years of manned space flight through the issuance of a new postage stamp featuring a likeness of Alan Shepard in front of his Freedom 7 space capsule.
Schedule of Astronauts to Appear at Cocoa Beach Parade