Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block will take on a new title
this July Fourth. For one day only, you can call him Marshal as in Grand Marshal of the Western Frontier.
"Marshal" Block is a regular in downtown Newhall's annual Fourth of July Parade,
and this year his participation has an added meaning. Block has rounded up a passel of
emergency services personnel from within his own department and beyond to honor the
memory of a man whose untimely passing earlier this year was felt in volunteer circles
throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. The men and women of Fire Station 73, the California
Highway Patrol and others will join a legion of Sheriff's deputies in the "Sgt. Bob Warford Memorial Division" as the parade gets under way at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July
Robert John Warford touched more lives than anyone can imagine in his
28 years with the Sheriff's department, over 20 of those years in Santa Clarita. To Warford,
"police work" wasn't work at all. It was community service. It was a way of
To thousands of schoolchildren growing up in the Santa Clarita Valley, he was "Deputy
Bob." To still more thousands of children, he was the man in charge of turning the
local lockup into a Haunted Jailhouse every Halloween.
To charity event organizers, he was a tireless volunteer. To the kids at the Boys & Girls
Club, he was jolly old Saint Nick.
To the Fourth of July Parade committee, he was like the old-fashioned conductor who al-
ways made the trains run on time. With Bob Warford in charge of police services, the par-
ade invariably came off without a hitch.
To co-workers, he was both a role model and a clever practical joker. To his cherished
Explorers, he was a teacher and mentor.
You see, Bob taught what is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. Honor. And he earned what
all the brass badges in the world can't buy. Respect.
Shortly after his death on March 9th, 1996 at the age of 51, Warford received the depart-
ment's highest honor from Sheriff Sherman Block: the Distinguished Service Award.
As with everything else he threw himself into, Bob Warford loved a parade.
This year, the parade is loving him back.
For over six decades, the people of the Santa Clarita Valley have paraded
through the streets of downtown Newhall on the Fourth of July to celebrate the
independence of this great nation.
More than 15,000 spectators will line Walnut Street, Lyons Avenue and Orchard Village Road
this year as roughly 1,000 of their fellow Santa Claritans from LAPD detective Phillip
Vannatter to Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (courtesy of Six Flags California) participate in
the parade itself, which is being brought to you by Old Town Newhall, USA and the City
of Santa Clarita.
It is a tradition of family fun that brings the entire community together, welcoming old-
timers and newcomers alike. The parade will play an increasingly important role as the city
focuses its attention on revitalizing our Old Town.
The four-day holiday weekend kicks off at 7:00 a.m. on July 4th, when
the Newhall Rotary Club will start serving up pancakes and sausages in the parking lot
behind Harry Bell's building at 24303 N. San Fernando Road, currently occupied by the
Hospital Guild Thrift Shop.
From 8:15 to 9:15 a.m., the Santa Clarita Runners take to the streets for their annual 5-K run
along the parade route, and at 9:45 the route will be cleared for the main event.
Immediately following the parade, the City of Santa Clarita will provide game booths for
children at Newhall Park and another set of its popular "Concerts in the Park."
Then it's off to the makeshift fairgrounds next to the new Santa Clarita Soccer Center on
Soledad Canyon Road, where the show will go on.
The 1996 Fourth of July Parade theme is
"Life on the Frontier," acknowledging the fact that for the first time, the SCV Cham-
ber of Commerce is hosting its annual Frontier Days Celebration over the July 4th weekend -
- not later in the year.
With the date change and the amount of work the Chamber has put into the event, this
32nd annual celebration of our Western heritage should prove to be one of the biggest and
They've got so many Country-Western musical groups and carnival rides lined up, they'll be
able to provide you with non-stop entertainment all weekend long.
They've got pie eating contests. They've got hotdog eating contests. They've got watermel-
on eating contests. They've got Kareoke contests. They've got a Chili Cookoff.
Heck, they've even got pig races.
And on Thursday, the 4th of July, the skies over the fairgrounds fill with the lights and
sounds of FIREWORKS!
Frontier Days will run from Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7. For a complete listing
of Frontier Days events and activities, pick up a souvenir catalog when you get to the
Finally, this reminder: The unlicensed possession or sale of fireworks in
both the city and county portions of the Santa Clarita Valley is strictly illegal.
Have a "Safe and Sane" Fourth of July!