Fourth of July marks the birth of our nation, born in struggle and realized in triumph. In Santa Clarita, we value this rich history and celebrate our patriotism daily. However, no day is more immersed in the red, white and blue spirit than Independence Day. No matter how you celebrate, you can find something for everyone in the family to enjoy this holiday. Independence Day celebrations in our city traditionally include everything from eating, exercising and enjoying a parade, to professional fireworks extravaganzas; but one thing is for sure – there’ll be plenty of patriotic fun for everyone. Early risers can run or walk their way to the 36th Annual Independence Day Classic at Newhall Memorial Park, presented by the Santa Clarita Runners Club. Don’t be intimidated by this annual race. The event has something for all fitness levels, including a 10K at 7 a.m., a 5K at 8 a.m. and a noncompetitive children’s Kid-K at 7:45 a.m. The 5K and children’s Kid-K allow participants to race along the Fourth of July Parade route, and the 10K course will showcase a sightseeing route that travels along Santa Clarita’s scenic South Fork Trail. Proceeds benefit cross country teams at each of the Santa Clarita Valley’s six high schools. Pre-registration is required at scrunners.org. If you’d prefer to start your weekend with American culinary tradition, head on over to the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club’s annual pancake breakfast, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., at the former Roger Dunn Golf Shop, located at 24200 Main St. Starting at 9 a.m., you can take in the Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade as it travels down Main Street while you enjoy those short stacks. This year’s Old Town Newhall parade theme,“It’s a Grand Old Flag,” is dedicated to the late Bobbie Trueblood Davis. Bobbie was a tireless community volunteer, helping coordinate our annual parade in years past. The parade will travel two miles, down Main Street, Lyons Avenue and Orchard Village Road, before finishing at Dalbey Drive. Since 1932, thousands of families have made this event the centerpiece of their annual Fourth of July traditions. For more information, visit scvparade.com. Wrapping up an exciting day of Americana is our annual fireworks show. Come out to enjoy our FREE fireworks in a professionally choreographed show, starting at 9:15 p.m., at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Remember, all fireworks are illegal in Santa Clarita, and fire season is a serious matter for everyone in Southern California. Additionally, fireworks can be extremely traumatizing for veterans and our pets! This Fourth of July, as we come together with loved ones, we celebrate our freedom and independence. No matter where you choose to celebrate, whether in Old Town Newhall, Westfield Valencia Town Center or at home with family and friends, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July. For more information about Fourth of July events in Santa Clarita, please visit calendar.santaclarita.com or call the city’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3787. Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]santa-clarita.com.