Girl Scouts wish the crowd a happy 4th of July at the 4th of July Parade in Newhall. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

Celebrating the Fourth in Santa Clarita

With 243 years of tradition behind it, Fourth of July celebrations are one of America’s most time-honored traditions. It’s a day to celebrate our nation’s independence with a day off, a backyard barbecue in the sun and plenty of fireworks.

Independence Day is right around the corner, and it’s time to start deciding how you want to spend your Fourth of July. Every year, the City of Santa Clarita offers plenty of patriotic activities so you and your family to join in on the festivities.

37th annual Independence Day Classic 5K and 10K Run/Walk

Get a running start to your celebration bright and early with the Independence Day Classic. The event includes not only a 5K and 10K, but also a non-competitive walk and kid’s 1K.

Last year’s 5K sold out, according to race director Carl Pantoja.

The 10K takes runners along the South Fork Trail, while both the kid’s K and 5K takes runners along the parade route that’s fast and flat, with one of the best cheering sections in southern California, according to Pantoja.

“People are gathering for the parade, so when runners pass by a lot of people are cheering — it’s very nice,” Pantoja said.

All the proceeds will benefit the six cross country teams of the Santa Clarita Valley’s high schools, as well as other local charities.

“We try to encourage the sport of running, which is why we give the money to the cross country programs,” Pantoja said. “We are really proud to help grow the running community.”

The run is expected to use chip timers that monitor the starting and finishing times more accurately, and finishers are expected to receive a finisher’s medal with awards given to the overall male and female in the 5K and 10K, as well as top three finishers in each age group.

After the race, participants are welcome to stay and snag a prime spot for the parade.

The 10K race is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m., followed by the kid’s K at 7:45 a.m. and the 5K at 8 a.m. with all races starting at Newhall Memorial Park, located at 24933 Newhall Ave. For more information, visit scrunners.org.

Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club’s Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast

Whether you’re participating in the run and need a hearty breakfast to make it through the festivities of the day or are just a pancake lover and need to get your pancake fix, right down the street from the race, the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club is hosting its annual Pancake Breakfast.

“It’s been going on for more than 40 years as a tradition to support the community,” said Tom Cole, club president. “It’s our way to give back to the community, and just a perfect way to start Independence Day holiday.”

The club is expected to serve its famous hot pancakes, sausages, “Cowboy Coffee” and juice, all for $5 a person.

The breakfast is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the former Roger Dunn Golf parking lot, located at 24200 Main Street. For more information, visit scvrotaryclub.com.

Mayor Laurene Weste waves to the crowd at the 4th of July Parade in Newhall. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

City of Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade

Even though Santa Clarita may be a big city, the Fourth of July Parade still has a small-town feel, according to Linda Storli, who’s been the parade’s chair for the past 25 years.

“We have even been described as the largest small-town parade in America,” Storli said.

This year, the parade will be honoring The Signal for its 100th birthday with the theme, “The Signal Century: Celebrating Our Press Freedom.”

More than 1,000 volunteers have been working hard to prepare for the parade, which will include members of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, political candidates and office holders, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, horses and more, Storli said.

“It’s an amazing parade that lets kids understand what the Fourth of July is all about,” Storli said. “It’s not just about fireworks and hot dogs, but patriotism. We’ve got a lot of military and Gold Star parents in the community.”

The parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Main Street in Newhall, then work its way down Lyons Avenue and Orchard Village Road, and end on 16th Street. The parade’s website features an interactive map that not only shows the route, but also each significant stop along the way.

For more information, visit www.scvparade.com or call Linda Storli at 661-313-8960.

The city’s annual fireworks show is launched each year from the parking structure at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

City of Santa Clarita Fourth of July Fireworks Show

Finish off your Independence Day celebration with the city’s annual fireworks display at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

This year, Westfield will be putting on a block party before the fireworks begin, so head over straight after the parade to enjoy food, drinks, face painting and games, such as both a hot dog- and pie-eating contest, as well as a cornhole tournament, according to Audra Cheney, marketing manager for Westfield Valencia Town Center. Later in the evening, The Spazamatics, a new wave 80s band, is also expected to perform.

Fireworks are expected to be shot from the top of a parking structure, so attendees should have plenty of room to set up their blankets and chairs to watch the show.

As the fireworks are one of the most popular events of the day, those who attend are encouraged to arrive early as heavy traffic is common.

The block party is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. with the band performing at 7 p.m., followed by the fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. at the Westfield Valencia Town Center, located at 24201 West Valencia Blvd.

For more information, visit westfield.com/valencia/fourthofjulyor santa-clarita.com/Fireworks.

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