Toads Stage Triumphant Comeback!

Rob Weston (driver) Michele Affronte (Toadfish Mermaid Queen) Keith Shaw (Neptune) Clare Vu (Toadfish Mermaid Princess)
photos by Jung Vu and Larry Clinton  |  story by Larry Clinton
Ed Lopez and Julie Durbin (Drum Majorette)
This was the second year that I posed as The Humming Toadfish Mermaid. There is nothing more rewarding than representing our very special community and seeing all the smiling faces in the crowd as they wave to us in our convertible, all decorated in fish.  |  Michele Affronte—The Humming Toadfish Mermaid
This was my first time in a parade. The magic of the experience was the contact with the crowd on the street. I found eye contact with complete strangers was just so engaging. We connected for a few seconds in a way that communicated the purpose of our pride: the joy found in the community of the floating homes, a pride of community and the village that is the FHA.  |  Rob Weston—Driver of the FHA float—(Mari's Mercedes convertible)
The parade was another example of our fabulous community coming together to be a part of a tradition that is steeped in history. Due to our talented kazoo players, music, costumes and convertible float, we were awarded 2nd place. Can't wait for next year!
Mari Steeno—Parade Organizer—(along with Michele Affronte)


After a three-year hiatus, dozens of floating homes residents and friends dusted off their humming toadfish t-shirts and kazoos to march in the Sausalito Fourth of July Parade. Led by mermaids Michele Affronte and 10-year-old Clare Vu, along with Keith Shaw as Neptune, the kazoo band drew smiles and waves throughout the route with their repertoire of patriotic and nautical ditties. At the reviewing stand, Keith gave a dramatic recitation of Gordon Haight’s poem “Toadfish Love,” and the judges awarded the group second place plaques in two categories: best float and best music.

Clare later commented:

Although it was cold, it felt like the sun came out just to watch the parade! It was fun.

Congratulations to parade organizers Michele, Mari Steeno (who donated her convertible), Katherine Boschetto and drum majorette Julie Durbin. Let’s hope the band returns every year …but the toadfish do not!

Mari received a nice thank you note from the City of Sausalito Parks and Rec:

I hope you all have recovered by now and have realized that you were part of something special this past Monday. The City of Sausalito’s 4th of July Festivities were a rousing success and YOU were a HUGE part of that. No matter what you contributed, it was worth it. In the chaos of the day you might not have noticed all the smiles on everyone’s faces, but they were too numerous to count and you helped put them there.

Julie Myers | Rec Supervisor Special Events | City of Sausalito Parks and Rec

Thanks again for all you do for the City!