“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!” The opening line to poet Katharine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful” not only describes the vast natural beauty of our great country – it also instantly swells your chest with pride for all that has been accomplished in the United States, as well as all that will be accomplished when we work together as one.
“America the Beautiful” has grown to be one of our nation’s most-loved songs and is incorporated into patriotic events and gatherings every year. The song honors the sacrifice of the men and women who have built this country, as well as those who have given their lives for it. It is a wonderful reminder to cherish the freedoms and liberties that make the United States one of a kind.
In Santa Clarita, we are proud of the bonds that unite us and we celebrate that spirit through a variety of patriotic events. Each year, Fourth of July festivities bring together thousands of residents for fun, family activities that display our patriotism and create lasting memories that we’ll hold with us for generations.
There are a number of exciting events planned for 2022 and I want to thank the members of the Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade Committee for the extraordinary work they’ve put in ahead of this year’s celebration. I know we are all looking forward to the return of the Fourth of July Parade – the first since 2019 – but that is just scratching the surface of all that is in store.
Residents can begin the holiday with a delicious pancake breakfast put on by the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley, which starts at 6:30 a.m. on Main Street between 5th and 6th Streets in Old Town Newhall. Then burn off the calories by participating in the Independence Day Classic, which is a 5K/10K organized by the Santa Clarita Runners that begins and ends at Newhall Park. The 10K begins at 7 a.m. and the 5K begins at 8 a.m.
The Fourth of July Parade itself takes to the streets of Old Town Newhall at 9 a.m. Get your spot on the route an hour early and bring your entire family down to experience the pageantry of this time-honored Santa Clarita tradition. This year’s parade theme is “Honoring Our Front-Line Personnel,” and I invite you to come to see all of the entries in person and pay special tribute to these community heroes. Also riding in the parade in the city’s old-time trolley will be winners of the city of Santa Clarita’s Pee-Wee Parade and Patriotic Home Tour competitions from 2020 and 2021, which encouraged residents to enter a virtual parade and decorate their homes in red, white and blue when the traditional parade couldn’t be held due to the pandemic.
Please be prepared for the heat for your children and pets with water, sunscreen and shade. It’s hot for your four-legged friends and your dogs need to be on a leash.
The Fourth of July Parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the roundabout in front of William S. Hart Park and conclude at Orchard Village Road and Dalbey Drive. Once the parade is complete, spend the afternoon with your loved ones and neighbors and partake in your favorite traditions, such as holding a family barbecue, going swimming or watching a baseball game. Then be sure to head over to the Westfield Valencia Town Center to see the annual “Spirit of America” Fireworks Spectacular – an awe-inspiring show that you certainly will not want to miss. You can find a full list of events taking place on July 4 by visiting SCVParade.com.
There is no shortage of opportunities for us to show our patriotism in Santa Clarita this Independence Day. From the early-morning hours until late in the evening, celebrate everything that makes America beautiful and take time to reflect on the words of Katharine Lee Bates’ poem, including its final lines:
“America! America! God shed His grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!”
Mayor Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].