Fourth of July parade to celebrate American heroes

Photo by Raiza Giorgi The Daughters of the American Revolution are seen in the Fourth of July parade last year.

Fourth of July parade to celebrate American heroes

SYV Star Staff Report

Both residents and tourists love the one night each year when the lights go down and they gather with friends and family to look to the sky and exclaim as the annual Fourth of July festivities climax with a community fireworks show.

The festivities, also including a parade, barbecues and parties, are sponsored each year by the Santa Ynez Valley Rotary Club, Solvang Rotary Club and many businesses and citizens that contribute and volunteer to keep the celebration fun and safe.

This year the Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday, and the first event is the parade that begins at 11 a.m. With a theme of “American Heroes,” I will be led by World War II veteran Grand Marshal Jim Kunkle, who will be profiled in our next issue.

First up is a free concert by Valley Wind Ensemble at 10 a.m. in the Solvang Park Gazebo

As usual, the parade starts at Mission Santa Ines, goes west on Highway 246 (Mission Drive), south on Fifth Street and east down Copenhagen Drive to Alisal Road and back to the mission. Those who wish to be in the parade can log onto www.solvangrotary.com and download the entry form.

The celebration continues with the festival and fireworks show at the mission. Admission is $10, free for kids 7 and under. Active-duty military members and their immediate family members are also admitted free with ID.

There will be many food booths, game booths, a beer and wine garden, and kids’ activities including bouncy castles, slides and face painting. Live entertainment starts at 5 p.m. with five of the “Teen Star” contest winners. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m., sponsored by the Santa Ynez Valley Rotary. Tickets are available in advance at www.SantaYnezValleyRotary.org.