Things to Know About Santa Clarita's Fourth of July Events
** 2005 UPDATE **

Leon Worden By Leon Worden

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A
n (almost) annual tradition since 1932, the downtown Newhall Fourth of July Parade — now, the Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade — is almost upon us.
    When? Monday, July 4. (No kidding, we get that question.)
    The fun begins bright and early at 7 a.m. when the Santa Clarita Rotary Club starts flipping the flapjacks and pouring the O.J. in the parking lot on San Fernando Road between 5th and 6th streets.
    Parade registration also opens at 7 a.m. for floats and marchers at the "triangle" of Newhall Avenue, Walnut and Market streets. We've always called it the "triangle" — now we'll have to get into the habit of calling it the Veterans Historical Plaza, thanks to its remarkable transformation by the city of Santa Clarita.
    Equestrian entries check in at Heritage Junction inside Hart Park, while politicians and other high-falutin' dignitaries should go to the SCV Senior Center.
    If you're in the parade, you'll want to arrive well before 9 a.m. to find out where to line up.
    And if you want to be in the parade but haven't turned in any paperwork, sorry; the deadline for entering has passed.
    If you're not sure you're in the parade, go to www.scvparade.com on the World Wide Web. The parade lineup is there for all the world to see.
    The lineup will also appear in a special section of The Signal on Sunday.
    If you've still got questions, e-mail them to info@scvparade.com for the quickest reply. Don't call City Hall; the city provides great help for the parade but will refer inquiries to the SCV Parade Committee, the nonprofit group of volunteers who run the parade. If you're totally perplexed you can call me at 259-1234, ext. 237, but with the volume of parade calls at this time of year, e-mail (again, info@scvparade.com) is truly your better bet. And after Friday, e-mail will be your only bet.

* * *
    Prior to the parade, the Santa Clarita Runners will hold their annual Independence Day Classic 5K run. I don't know everything about it, but you can register online through www.scrunners.org. They're also taking registrations at Vicenzo's in Saugus on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and at the starting line July 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The run begins and ends at Newhall Park.
    The parade starts promptly at 9:45 a.m., and it promises to be on the "big" side this year with more than 90 separate entries translating into about 3,000 participants and an anticipated 25,000 spectators.
    Parking is always a challenge; you'll want to head downtown in plenty of time to fight for a parking place near the parade route. Hint: Plan to attend the Rotary Club's pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. or soon thereafter to avoid a parking struggle.
    The starting gate for the parade is the intersection of Newhall Avenue and San Fernando Road — soon to be renamed "Main Street"? — in front of Hart Park. The route is the same as last year; it travels up Main — er, San Fernando Road, turns left (west) onto Lyons Avenue and right (north) at Orchard Village Road, ending at 16th Street.
    After the parade, starting around 11:45 a.m., a deejay will spin CDs and vendors will sell food and other things (not sure what) in Newhall Park until about 2 p.m. In between, around 1 p.m., the Parade Committee will hand out trophies in the park. The winners will also be announced in Tuesday's Signal, and winners who haven't already done so can pick up their trophies next week at The Signal's front desk at 24000 Creekside Road.
* * *
    Fireworks: Check the city's Web site at www.santa-clarita.com for the fullest information.
    Hometown radio station KHTS AM-1220 will provide coverage of the city's "American Dream Fireworks Show" at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. (I'm still having trouble with the mall's new name, and the Shoppingtowners get all huffy when I mess it up.)
    The bombs go off from the top of one of the parking garages. (I don't know if it's supposed to be a secret, but you don't need as much firepower when you shoot off fireworks from a higher altitude — so they cost less and the city gets as much bang for fewer bucks by launching them five stories up.)
    You can watch the fireworks either from a local hilltop or you can converge on the mall, but there won't be any on-the-ground entertainment. No barbecues or pets are allowed at the mall. (You like the way those go together?)
    Folks who happen to be on the west side of town Monday night can take in three more fireworks displays, as well — one in Stevenson Ranch, one at Magic Mountain and a great big one at Castaic Lake, where the Friends of Castaic Lake and the county Department of Parks and Recreation are offering oodles of fun all day starting at 11 a.m. Entry to the lake is $25 per car or $5 per walk-in; kids 5 and under are free. (Which doesn't mean they're giving away free kids.)
* * *
    Can't write about the parade without reminding moms and dads that Silly String and SuperSoakers aren't welcome at the parade. Silly String ruins antique cars, SuperSoakers spook the horses, and both are forbidden from use during the parade under a city ordinance.

Leon Worden is The Signal's opinion and multimedia editor.


©2005, THE SIGNAL • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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