O, Beautiful...
Thousands of people from the SCV clamored in and around downtown Newhall for the Fourth of July Parade.

By Kristin Wilder
Signal Staff Writer

July 4, 2000

I
n a spectacular celebration of our nation's 224th birthday, the annual Fourth of July parade attracted thousands of Santa Clarita Valley residents to downtown Newhall Tuesday.
    The sunny skies and cool breeze provided the perfect setting for the parade, which was estimated to be the biggest in parade history.
    In honor of California's 150th birthday, the theme of the parade was "California's Sesquicentennial." The theme was captured by many floats, including the Ba'hai Faith entry, which featured a giant birthday cake adorned with oversized candles and children dressed as presents.
    As early as 8 a.m., red, white and blue clad spectators lined the streets four and five deep to catch a glimpse of the passing parade as it wound its way from William S. Hart Park up San Fernando Road, turned left onto Lyons Avenue, turned right on Orchard Village Road, then right at Dalbey Drive to Newhall Park.
    With every parking spot within a mile of the parade full and several roads on the parade route blocked, many families walked to the parade, toting backpacks, lawnchairs, strollers and wagons.
    The parade, which was sponsored by Old Town Newhall USA, the city of Santa Clarita, the Greater SCV Optimists Club and The Signal, featured more than 100 entries from marching bands to beauty queens to floats to yaks to zambonis to elected officials and other local dignitaries.
    Fourth-generation Santa Claritan Thomas Frew IV was the parade's grand marshal and was accompanied by his aunt Evangeline Frew Landis.
    Parade organizers said that this year featured some of the most unusual entries yet.
    "We had some really unique animals this year," said chairman Leon Worden. "And, of course, we had lots of horses."
    For the first time in parade history, Himalayan Yaks were in the parade, courtesy of "Came to Believe" Ranch in Newhall. Also known as grunting ox, these hairy creatures were a hit with parade-goers.
    With emcees on microphones placed at the various corners describing the entries and identifying people atop the floats, the crowds were able to hear what was approaching.
    Signal humor columnist John Boston and his wonder horse, Skipper, started off the parade with the Worthless Sons and Daughters of the Wealthy Land Owners on horseback.
    Musical stylings were offered by the Canyon Theatre Guild, whose song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat could be heard for miles around.
    Daddy Warbucks and Annie followed close behind, promoting the Guild's production of the beloved musical.
    Several restored antique cars graced the parade this year from Model T's to Corvettes. Local beauty pageant winners were perched atop the convertibles.
    The crowd rose to its feet and cheered out of respect for local World War II veterans who fought in the battle of Guadalcanal.
    Skateboarders and gymnasts amazed the on-lookers with spectacular stunts and jumps that evoked ooh's and ahh's.
    Equestrians from both Placerita Canyon and Sand Canyon marched with their horses and even their lawn mowers. The canyons were battling for the much coveted "Red" Fletcher Posse of the Canyons Fourth of July Parade trophy.
    Several Boy, Girl and Cub scout troops marched in the parade waving flags on decorated trucks.
    Following the parade, residents headed over to Newhall Park for the SCV Country Fair which featured live music, food, carnival rides and games. The fair, which benefits Theatre Arts for Children, took place over the weekend as well, and drew thousands of people.


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