Father Christian Mondor has been named community grand marshal for this year's Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, which means he won't be riding on his usual float with other religious leaders.
But he can still have the horse-drawn trolley — and the banjo, if he wants.
The 87-year-old vicar emeritus at Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church has a history of riding in Surf City's annual parade with the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council. In recent years, he's sat in his Franciscan friar's robe with representatives from Judaism, Islam and other faiths, cradling a banjo and strumming along with Beach Boys and Jan and Dean tunes.
A few days ago, Mondor learned that the city's Fourth of July committee had unanimously chosen him to be this year's community grand marshal, a title given to a Huntington resident who is active in the community. The committee hopes to set him with family and friends on a horse-drawn trolley again, and Mondor may garnish it with a surfboard in honor of the city's cultural heritage.