Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

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.

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


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:

andbull; Alex Anderson, bicycle category

andbull; David Montez, 1960 or older car

andbull; Martin and McCargor family, 1961 or newer car

andbull; Min Kar Klub of Chetco Shriner Club, customized

andbull; Cloyd Darrow, children

andbull; Smith River Fire Protection District, fire truck

andbull; Fred Enderts Swimming Pool, business float

andbull; Smith River Rancheria, non-profit float

andbull; Sherman Jackson family, miscellaneous float

andbull; Smith River School Wildcat Band, marching band

andbull; Tao Tao Off-Road Quad, motorcycle

andbull; Redwood Gate District/Crater Lake Boy Scouts of America, walking.

The grand prize winner was the Sherman Jackson family float.

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