– Thousands of spectators greeted the officers, chiefs and crew of USS McCLUSKY as they marched through the streets of Laguna Niguel in Saturday morning’s holiday parade.
McCLUSKY sailors made their presence known during the one-mile stretch as nearly 170 sailors in dress blues advanced down the street to greet the mass of spectators. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department estimated more than 13,000 people in attendance.
“The Mighty Mac holds a very special place in the heart of all here in Laguna Niguel,” said Mayor Gary Capata, “evident by the tremendous outpouring of support from the community as they walked along the parade route.”
At the end of the route, McCLUSKY sailors met with the El Toro Battalion, Irvine’s U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. After a few photos with cadets McCLUSKY sailors were treated to lunch at a local Italian restaurant provided by Laguna Niguel.
“The citizens of Laguna Niguel are very supportive of the ship and crew,” said Commanding Officer Cdr. Darren Glaser. “McCLUSKY was on deployment during last year’s parade. This year, we wanted to show our appreciation for all the tremendous support, it’s our chance to say thanks.”
This holiday parade was McCLUSKY’s sixth occasion since the ship was adopted by the City of Laguna Niguel in June of 2003.