Star-spangled banners and expressions of patriotism decorated the route at Santa Clarita’s first in-person Fourth of July parade since 2019.
With sights of kids playing, people conversing with old friends, and just about everyone enjoying themselves, it was difficult to sense that the celebration even had a hiatus.
This year’s theme was “honoring our frontline personnel” and the parade featured several first responder and military vehicles and floats. It was apparent, however, that another theme of the event was “returning to normal.”
In a press statement released ahead of the parade, Mayor Laurene Weste said the city’s Independence Day celebration was coming back in full force.
“I know our Santa Clarita community has missed this hometown Fourth of July parade for the past two years, so the SCV Parade Committee is bringing it back bigger and better than ever,” said Weste. “Not only will it be an amazing display of patriotism, but it will also be an opportunity to show gratitude to our frontline workers who have kept our community, and nation, moving and healthy during the long months of the pandemic.”
As per tradition, the event began with the Santa Clarita Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast at the Roger Dunn Golf parking lot. The Santa Clarita Runners club also reprised its 10k and 5k run-walk preceding the parade, with both runs beginning and ending at Newhall Park.
The parade route this year began at the Newhall roundabout near Hart Park, and ran up Main Street before heading west on Lyons Avenue. From Lyons, it then went north onto Orchard Village road before ending on Dalbey Drive, in front of Newhall Park.
Attendees seemed delighted to be back and celebrating the parade’s 90th anniversary.
Veronica Stanley-Hooper, a Saugus resident, said it was nice to see people being proud about America, given so much recent negativity in the news, and that this year felt different than others.
“For sure, 100% there’s totally a different vibe. It’s so much more positive and it’s really, really great to be here.”
Diane Green, a Canyon Country resident, said it was encouraging to see people come out and support the community and that it was long overdue.
“This is really more than encouraging, because I think this is going to be a longer parade than they’ve ever had before,” said Green. “I think people are ready to get out and enjoy themselves and participate back in humanity.”
Corey Fredrickson, a Valencia resident, said it was refreshing to see the happy faces of children, their parents, and other community members participating in supporting the country.
“Look at all the people here today, lined up all the way from this whole route. There’s thousands of people,” said Fredrickson. “It’s refreshing to everyone and I think it’s going to help the children, and also the parents, and our families, being able to get out and get back to normal.”
Last but not least, was the judging of the floats, vehicles and the Grand Equestrian. This year, 10 judges organized the entries into groups and judged them by theme, decor, appearance and music. The results of the contests are as follows:
1st – L.A. Commandery No. 9
1st – Cub Scout Pack 40
2nd – Miss L.A. & Miss SFV Scholarship
1st – Santa Clarita Veterans Center
2nd – Surface Busters LLC
3rd – Ken & Joe’s Honda Kawasaki KTM
Non-Commercial Float under 17
1st – Hart High Football
2nd – Cub Scout Pack 490
3rd – PFLAG
Non-Commercial Float over 17
1st – Samuel Dixon Family Health Center
2nd – Fil-Am Association
3rd – Castaic Animal Care Center
Club or Fraternal Float
1st – Dome Sweet Dome
2nd – SCV Congress of Republicans
3rd – Metropolitan Dis Elks & Cub Pack 494
Commercial or Specialized Vehicle
1st – Dance Studio 84
2nd – Old Town Newhall & CC Farmers Markets
3rd – Gabriel Gagnon
Car or Motorcycle Club
1st – SCV Corvette Club
Classic or Antique Auto
1st – Party in the USA Dancers
2nd – Round the Clock Pest Control
3rd – Hot Wheels Paddy Wagon
Winner – Oak Creek Corral
Winner – Oak Creek Corral
Best of Theme
Winner – Santa Clarita Veterans Center
Winner – Samuel Dixon Health Center
People staked and claimed a spot hours in advance to watch the fireworks show at the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Monday.
The show didn’t start until 9 p.m. but people set up tents and chairs on the lawn facing Valencia Boulevard as early as 2 p.m.
Many didn’t physically wait at their spot, however, as the relentless heat from the afternoon sun forced many to abandon their outdoor furniture to seek refuge inside the mall.
One person said an unattended pop-up tent was carried away by strong winds into the busy street. Thankfully, it was retrieved without incident.
Regardless of the afternoon’s conditions, by 5 p.m. the lawns became shaded, people started to file in, and the grills were being fired up.
Sascha Matias, a Saugus resident, said it was nice to see everybody hanging out.
“Super exciting to see like everybody out here and together and just kind of celebrating and hanging out,” said Matias. “It’s nice to get the kids out. You know? They can see their friends, it’s like a community here.”