Crescent City’s big day unfolds under blue sky
The sun shone on Crescent City for the Fourth of July with visibility down the coastline for celebrants in Beachfront Park.
4-month-old Morgan Wilder, also known as “Mommy’s little sparkler,” enjoys her first Fourth of July Parade
The festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. with a parade snaking through downtown and children stockpiling candy thrown along the curbs for an hour and a half.
Old-model fire trucks honking, Shriner cars zipping in circles, horses tramping and the Jed Smith Mountain Men sauntering and shooting in their frontiersmen regalia were all sights seen by hundreds of onlookers crowding sidewalks.
“We go every year,” said Elizabeth Scott. “It’s just a sense of community.
An impressive float came from the Smith River Rancheria, which had a miniature traditional Native American scene including a wooden shelter, fire pit and two children dressed in traditional regalia.
Scott and much of the rest of the parade crowd marched down to Beachfront Park afterwards to enjoy the rest of the celebration.
Vendors selling chicken wings, Indian tacos, Mexican food and doughboys had dozens of people in their lines.
Job’s Daughters, selling doughboys, had a line that went back about 50 people and was consistently long throughout the day. They’re always popular, but perhaps especially so this year because of the fire that destroyed the Masonic Family Center in Crescent City last Friday night.
The beer garden was popular, located within earshot of the bands covering rock ’n’ roll classics on the main stage. Children and families danced and frolicked in the grass to the tunes.
The inaugural Palmer Westbrook Ranch BBQ wars took place in the afternoon.
Shane Thomas and his family brought their custom-built barbecue. The behemoth grill had an attached smoker and was built from scrap metal from various sources.
The gridiron came from a catwalk and was lowered and raised by a boat crank. The grill was fashioned from an old propane tank and sculpted together with angled pieces from a bed frame.
Thomas was competing for a $250 cash prize in the tri-tip category.
“This is my first competition, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do,” said Thomas, who wound up with the second place prize.
First place went to a team sponsored by Ray’s Food Place.
A dunk tank offered citizens an opportunity to soak local public officials. Supervisor Mike Sullivan and District Attorney Jon Alexander both took plunges.
The celebrations carried on into the evening, when fireworks were planned to light up the hopefully-still-clear skies.
“I go to the beach,” said 11-year-old Sara Mickelson of her vista point for the Fourth finale.
She said she liked the “pretty ones,” especially the “red, white and blue ones.”
Overall, it seemed the community was enjoying the holiday safely, said Police Sgt. Erik Apperson on Wednesday afternoon.
“It feels like the people who are participating are really here to have a good time,” said Apperson.
He gave kudos to the event organizers from the Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce and all of the volunteers who helped steer the parade the right way, including the Police Explorers.
Here are the first-place winners in the parade competition:
• Alex Anderson, bicycle category
• David Montez, 1960 or older car
• Martin and McCargor family, 1961 or newer car
• Min Kar Klub of Chetco Shriner Club, customized
• Cloyd Darrow, children
• Smith River Fire Protection District, fire truck
• Fred Enderts Swimming Pool, business float
• Smith River Rancheria, non-profit float
• Sherman Jackson family, miscellaneous float
• Smith River School Wildcat Band, marching band
• Tao Tao Off-Road Quad, motorcycle
• Redwood Gate District/Crater Lake Boy Scouts of America, walking.
The grand prize winner was the Sherman Jackson family float.