By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
Thousands of people lined the streets of Crescent City yesterday to watch the city's annual Fourth of July parade.
For nearly two hours, spectators viewed everything from show horses to the library district's Wonder Bus, from mini automobiles to characters from Veggie Tales.
One highlight of the parade was the long procession of fire trucks from all over Del Norte County and Brookings' fire departments that honored its fallen heroes. The oldest truck dated from 1917.
"It's a combined entry in the parade, starting with the oldest truck and onto the newer ones," said Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield. "One truck has a bell that (tolled) 234 times in memory of the firefighters we lost on Sept. 11." None of the trucks utilized their sirens in a silent tribute.
Twelve categories were judged out of 110 entries. Awards were given in the following categories:
Marching: the Del Norte Youth Cheerleaders won first and the Crescent City Municipal Marching Band placed second.
Commercial: First place went to the Del Norte Medical Clinic.
Fire Truck: First place went to the Del Norte County Fire Departments. The trucks were entered as a combined entry between the Crescent City Fire Department, Crescent Fire Protection District, Smith River Fire Department, Gasquet Fire department, Klamath Fire Department, the California Department of Forestry, the Forest Service and National Park Service. Trucks from Brookings and Harbor were also represented.
Children's: First place went to Foursquare Gospel Church.
Best Mounted Single Horse: First place went to Vickie L. Mattingly.
Best Mounted Group: First place went to A Woman's and Girl's Mounted Group. Second was Nicole Dawson.
Best Mounted Pony: First place went to Moriah Wilson.
Bicycle Division: First place went to Michael Wilson. Second was Joseph M. Stephanik.
Classic Cars Division, 1960 or Earlier: First place, "Win With Wilson." Second, Rick McClendon.
Classic Cars, 1961 or later: First place, PT Posse. Second, Jason Levi Gaylord.
Customized Modified Cars Division: First place, the Northern Knights. second, the Hillah Chetco Shrine Club.
Float Division: First place, Wal-Mart. Second, Vogue Beauty Academy. Third, Function Junction.
Pat Bailey, organizer and President of the Chamber of Commerce, said he was impressed with this year's parade.
"I think this parade was a lot bigger and I think a lot more work went into the floats than last year," said Bailey.
After the parade, many of the spectators migrated to Beachfront Park to grab some lunch, browse the makeshift shops and listen to music.
"We play up and down the coast," said singer Bart Cotta of the Sans Prophet Blues Band, which entertained the crowds on the breezy but sunny day. "We played Klamath a little while back. We really don't like the bar scene much and have been playing a lot of festivals."