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Fireworks return to Turlock
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The Stanislaus County Fair, City of Turlock, Turlock Rural Fire Department and the Turlock Chamber of Commerce will present a free fireworks show on July 4 at the fairgrounds. - photo by Journal file photo

Regional Fourth of July Celebrations

July 2

·         Oakdale, Woodward Reservoir: Face painting, arts and crafts, and family games. Fireworks begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. $20 per vehicle charge.

·         Turlock: Patriotic Parade and Independence Celebration in downtown Turlock; 10 a.m. parade, followed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by a street fair with vendors, food, classic cars and classic rock.


July 3

·         Modesto, John Thurman Field: Modesto Nuts game vs. Lancaster JetHawks at 6:35 p.m., fireworks after the game.

·         Don Pedro Reservoir: Half-hour fireworks show to begin at 9:30 p.m.; $8 parking fee per vehicle, food for sale from the Gold Chain Lions Club. No pets allowed in Blue Oaks Recreation Area, no smoking or barbecues in the fireworks barge parking/viewing area.


July 4

·         Atwater: Run for Independence from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. festival in Ralston Park with entertainment, 10 a.m. parade, 6:15 p.m. – 9 p.m. concert at Buhach Colony High, 9 p.m. fireworks show

·         Gustine: Centennial anniversary of Gustine fireworks; 10:30 a.m. parade on 5th Street, noon – 5 p.m. Miss Gustine Pageant and activities at Henry Miller Park, and fireworks at night at the Gustine High Football Stadium

·         Turlock: Stanislaus County Fairground doors open at 5 p.m. Music, food, and entertainment until 8:30-9 p.m., at which time fireworks begin; $2 parking fee per vehicle, if parking onsite.

In just a month, fireworks will be erupting all over Stanislaus County – and the nation – as America celebrates its Independence Day.

Those fireworks will even be booming over Turlock this year, with a triumphant return of a local fireworks show following a year’s sabbatical.

“I can’t tell you how many phone calls we got asking why we weren’t doing it last year,” said Sharon Silva, CEO of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce.

Silva planned the 2009 Fourth of July fireworks celebration on short notice, filling in to replace California State University, Stanislaus’ long-standing show. The cash-strapped university didn’t have the funding to put on the show that year.

So Silva worked out a show at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, where about 5,000 attendees enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display for a $1 cost of admission.

Silva thought someone else would put on the show in 2010, but that effort failed to materialize. So this year, Silva negotiated partnerships to make the costly event possible once again.

 “I’m very excited, because the Stanislaus County Fair, the City of Turlock, the Rural Fire Department, and the Turlock Chamber of Commerce have come together to present a firework show,” Silva said.

This year, the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds gates will open around 5 p.m. on July 4. Attendees will be able to enjoy a concert, eat food – either purchased onsite or carry-along picnic dinners – do some light shopping, and enjoy a children’s play area which may include a bicycle rodeo. For more adult entertainment, a beer booth will be available onsite, but no alcohol may be carried into the fairgrounds.

And, of course, the evening will commence with an “amazing” fireworks display, put on by the same company which did the fireworks in 2009.

The biggest difference compared to 2009? This time, there’s no charge for admission – just a $2 fee to park onsite.

“We want people to come and enjoy it from the community,” Silva said. “It’s all a community event.”

The Turlock Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations to offset the show’s cost. To donate or sponsor the event, call 632-2221.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.