A Turlock tradition will hit the streets once again next week when the Annual 4th of July Parade and Car Show returns downtown, honoring not only our country’s independence, but the service men and women who have protected it.
From Turlock’s American flag corridors around town to its title as a “City of 1,000 Flags,” it’s no secret that the city has a passion for patriotism. The fast-approaching 4th of July celebration is one of the most anticipated and well-attended events of the year, event sponsor Patrick Jensen of Paul’s Glass Company said, drawing over 10,000 people to Turlock’s downtown core each summer.
This is the fourth year Paul’s Glass Company has hosted the celebration, which will once again honor the military veterans and active duty members who call Turlock home.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to showcase our downtown,” Jensen said. “It’s nostalgia, it’s tradition and it’s something to do in our community, especially now that the college and City cancelled the fireworks.”
Amid budget constraints and ongoing construction projects, the City of Turlock and Stanislaus State announced in April that the annual fireworks show celebrating Independence Day is cancelled this year. University President Ellen Junn cited the former Student Union Building’s current renovation and expansion project, as well as costs associated with hosting the event and an additional renovation of the library, as reasons for the show being called off.
The City’s financial woes contributed to the event’s cancellation as well.
“This will be the one and only party in town,” Jensen said of the parade and car show.
In a celebration of America’s military, cars holding veterans from Turlock’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5059 and the American Legion Rex Ish Post 88 will be the main attraction during the parade, joined by other community floats which have signed up to participate.
U.S. Air Force veteran and Turlock Police Department Lt. Neil Cervenka will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal this year, and will kick off the parade alongside a very special group.
Cervenka serves as a Uniform Runner Ambassador for Run to Remember Los Angeles, an organization comprised of law enforcement officers from around the county who run marathons in full duty uniform to raise awareness, promote fitness, engage the community and raise funds for the families of fallen officers. A group of youth runners who frequently join Cervenka on his runs will march alongside him to open the parade, American flag in hand.
“It will be similar to how he runs in uniform, but this time they’ll be walking together in the parade,” Jensen said.
Following the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. July 4 along Main Street, there will be a car show and street faire until 2 p.m. Turlock-native food trucks like Tito’s Tacos & Grill, TRND Foods, Rub BBQ and Grilling, Kraving Kebab Pizza and Rita’s Italian Ice will be on hand to keep attendees cool and full as they check out a show featuring over 80 classic cars, and a seated area with shade will be provided for diners. There will be a dozen awards handed out to the best rides, including a Mayor’s Award, Police Chief Award, Best of Show and even Best Junk in the Trunk.
While some restaurants in the middle of the action will be closed on the day of the event, like Dust Bowl and Memo’s, plenty will be open, Jensen said. Hauck’s Grill will welcome patrons, as the parade is typically their biggest day of sales for the year, according to the restaurant. Ten East will also keep their doors open, and donate half of their parking lot to the parade.
According to Jensen and Downtown Turlock Property Owners Association Executive Director Molly Amant, the parade lost out on an expected $5,000 when the City cut its Community Event & Activities Grant program due to budget constraints. Because of this the parade was on the verge of being cancelled, they said, until Turlock City News made a generous donation of $5,000 to make up for the lost funds.
The parade was definitely worth saving, Jensen and Amant agreed, as it’s become a Turlock tradition.
“This is something wholesome to do on the 4th of July, so everyone should come out and be a part of the spectacle,” Jensen said.
Community members are still able to enter both the car show and parade, and those wishing to submit an application to ride in the parade or partake in the car show can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are other 4th of July events taking place in the region for those who would like a weekend full of festivities:
· - The McHenry Mansion will host an Independence Day celebration that will include self-guided tours of the historic Victorian home beginning at 8:30 a.m. and allow spectators of Modesto’s 145th annual parade to designate chairs and blankets along the street in front of the mansion.
· - A weekend-long celebration will take place at the Max Foster Sports Complex in Livingston. The city’s 4th of July Festival will start on July 4 with a fireworks show, then on July 5, live entertainment will be provided by ND RIDAZ. On July 6, there will be a concert featuring a rodeo and music by Banda La Nueva, among other acts. For more information, visit www.livingston4thofjuly.com.
· - The 24th Annual Fireworks Celebration at Woodward Reservoir, presented by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, will be held on July 5. The display will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. and the County recommends arriving early to secure a spot.