Continued from page 1

Even if problems swirl around City Hall, July 4 was not the day to dwell on them, Mr. Symons and other parade watchers said. In fact, the ethical cloud over the city could be used to drum up some fun.

Mr. Weaver’s team rode through the parade route with a tongue-in-cheek float featuring oversized dollar bills and a boombox blasting songs about money, while petitioners gathered signatures to get Initiative 70 - the ban on corporate contributions - onto the ballot.

When Brown resigned, the council voted in Mr. Mendelson as chairman because they viewed him as a stabilizing force. On Wednesday, he queued up for the parade with a clipboard of nominating petitions in hand ahead of a special election to fill the final two years of Brown’s term.

Mr. Mendelson is expected to win the race handily unless someone launches a serious challenge to him. Council member Vincent B. Orange, at-large Democrat, has not publicly ruled himself out, but has insisted he is focusing on his bid for re-election as an at-large member this November.

Fellow at-large incumbent Michael A. Brown, an independent, marched in the parade, as did a pair of energetic challengers in the at-large race - Mary Brooks Beatty, the Republican nominee, and David Grosso, an independent who is launching an aggressive campaign to get on the November ballot.

Mr. Orange, decked out in a festive tropical shirt and smiling for photos as he assembled his team along the parade route, said he has attended the annual event for well over a decade.

“Yes, I’m up for re-election, I’m the Democratic nominee. I’ll shake hands and say, ‘Vote for Vince,” he said. “But this is about celebrating the 4th of July, especially after the storm, and enjoying this calm, beautiful atmosphere.”