The Turlock community has once again come together to ensure residents will get a chance to celebrate the Fourth of July in patriotic style, complete with fireworks.
The festivities will kick off with the annual downtown parade, set for 10 a.m. July 4. The downtown parade has been an Independence Day tradition in Turlock for many years and organizers are planning for another festive event. The parade's theme, "Country Pride," was chosen for its double meaning.
"It's a double whammy, if you will, a nod to patriotism and pride in our country and a nod to our country roots. We'd like to see floats that express one or both of those ideas," said TDPOA administrator Dana McGarry.
The parade is slated to begin at Main and Palm streets, then head west on Main to Broadway. The parade will then head north on Broadway and end at Broadway Park.
A street faire and car show will follow the parade in downtown Turlock with food vendors, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and a Kids Zone, which is set to end around 3 p.m.
Turlock's Fourth of July celebrations will continue that evening at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, where the Red, White and Boom! Fourth of July Show is set to take place. Running until 10 p.m., the public event will feature a fireworks show that area residents are invited to enjoy free of charge. Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and ice chests, however alcohol is prohibited. Gates open at 7:30 p.m., with the fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m.
The Red, White and Boom! Fourth of July Show will be the only public fireworks show held in Turlock this year, as California State University, Stanislaus is no longer hosting a firework show as it had in years past. In March, CSU Stanislaus President Joseph Sheley addressed the question as to why the University no longer hosted the Fourth of July celebration, saying that the CSU Stanislaus police department cannot effectively enforce a no-alcohol regulation for the event due to the campus' permeable perimeter.
The fireworks show at the fairgrounds, which costs an estimated $18,000, is made possible through a joint effort of community organizations and business donations. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people are expected to attend the free holiday event.
"It's a great way for the community to gather and celebrate our independence," said Turlock Chamber CEO Sharon Silva. "City, fair, downtown, Chamber are all working together to make sure Turlock celebrates the Fourth of July the best way possible."
Other area holiday events include:
• Atwater 4th of July: Festivities kick off at 7:30 a.m. with the Run for Independence at Ralston Park, between Grove Avenue and Third Street. A parade follows starting at 9 a.m. on Winton Way and a festival at Ralston Park. The night ends with a concert and fireworks show at 6 p.m. at Castle Air Base. For more information, visit atwater4thofjuly.com
• In Modesto, the 140th Annual Fourth of July Celebration will take place at 9:30 a.m., as the 2014 themed "Home of the Free, Land of the Brave" parade begins in downtown. Additionally, the Mid-Valley Chevy Club Car Show will be on display in front of the Gallo Center for the Arts from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. To learn more about the Modesto 140th Annual Fourth of July Celebration, visit www.modestojulyparade.com.
- Journal editor Kristina Hacker contributed to this report.