Photos by Creig P. Sherburne • See more photos under the Fourth of July 2012 galleries under the tab: Photos.
SANTA MARGARITA — To say that the Santa Margarita Fourth of July parade and following barbecue and party was a hit would be like saying the Beatles are a band some people enjoy.
The setup for the parade was pretty simple and Master of Ceremonies Su Andros described it best.
“Welcome to the fourth annual Santa Margarita Independence Day parade,” she said, “where half the town comes out to watch the other half of the town walk down the street.”
While funny and technically true, the parade was far more than just half the town walking down the street. It was a time machine to back to the 1950s. It was a celebration of small-town life. It was a fun place to see and be seen. And the sense of both community and fun was something tangible in the air.
Andros said it was the biggest parade to date with 27 entrants, and that there seemed to be more spectators this year than last.
Karin Taylor, the lady most in charge of the event, said things went off wonderfully.
“I think it’s grown a bit,” she said. “People are enjoying themselves.”
It’s true. Hundreds of people lined H Street, many with lawn chairs, as the parade went by, and smiles abounded. Further, both the audience and the parade participants were made up of everybody from infants in backpacks to great-great grandparents and every age and type of person in between.
The parade kicked off with a presentation of the colors by Santa Margarita Boy Scout Troom No. 123 with volunteer firefighters in tow as Karen Wilkins sang the national anthem and Marilee Clay and Andrew Redel sang “America the Beautiful.”
And then the parade was off.
There were horses, goats, dogs and chickens, usually with the various 4-H participants, but at least one group, “the dogs of F and I streets,” was made up entirely of dogs who allowed their humans along out of charity.
Another, pet nanny Susan Anderson, was taken for a walk by her hounds, Della Sarah Jude and Jimmy Buffet.
Tractors, cars, bikes and trucks were all in evidence, and at least one youngster, one Dalton Stewart, got to celebrate his birthday in a cowboy hat with his dad on a golf cart down H Street.
The famous Tall Bike Posse made an appearance and The Santa Margarita Elite Precision Wheelbarrow Brigade Drill Team Corp put on such a performance, it got its own article on page C1.
The parade closed with the Boy Scouts and the volunteer firefighters bringing up the rear and then the party started at Santa Margarita Community Park.
The Santa Margarita Lions Club cooked up tasty hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob, children played in the park and Chick Tuesday and Don Lampson played cool music in the pavilion. Folks walked around with frozen treats. Dogs got their ears and bellies scratched to their heart’s content.
While there were plenty of cool games for children to play in booths set up at the park, one of the coolest was a freebie the Boy Scouts set up. A group of the young men assembled a water-balloon launcher out of twine and the tall stakes used for holding new trees up. Some surgical tubing and a small pouch completed the structure. The trouble is, in a crowded park, what do you shoot at?
Boy Scouts, of course.
Assistant Scoutmaster Craig Culp said it is projects such as the water balloon launcher that make Santa Margarita’s Fourth of July party so much fun. Where else, he asked, will you find people volunteering to get shot at?
The party wound down by about 1 p.m. Taylor said the whole thing was perfect and Andros said that the small-town parade is a “delightful little slice of old time Americana.”
“There was music and people ate and all the community groups were there,” Andros said. “Everybody seemed particularly happy to be there. It was a great day.”
“It’s really a Santa Margarita community event,” Taylor agreed. “It’s part of the character of Santa Margarita. We see ourselves as a community, and we love our community events.”For the complete article see the 07-06-2012 issue.
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