Fourth of July festivities were well underway across the region long before fireworks lit up the night sky. Here is a peak into some of the events that happened around the area on Thursday:
The Grand Island Fire Station in Grimes was packed just 30 minutes after the doors opened for their bi-annual Fourth of July Breakfast.
According to Fire Captain Lance Swift, more than 120 hungry guests had visited the station already for the all-you-can-eat buffet style breakfast, and hundreds more were expected before they shutdown the kitchen at 11 a.m.
All morning, the nine firefighters that make up the department were busy cooking breakfast.
Captain Todd Miller and Commissioner John Miller flipped pancakes, cooking up at lease 12 at a time.
Firefighter Jessica Linton replenished food on the buffet, making sure there was always plenty to eat.
Martin Ramirez, EMT Captain 115, and firefighter Chris Azevedo manned the burrito bar, grilling up tortillas and the always popular chorizo.
“A lot of people like it so we keep doing it,” Ramirez said about the chorizo. “This year we got 15 pounds.”
According to Ramirez, this tradition was started over 20 years ago by former Grand Island firefighter Lupe Varajas.
The breakfast was free but donations in any amount were accepted. Swift said all of the proceeds will go towards future department fundraisers and the Department’s scholarship fund.
“All of the money goes right back into the community,” Swift said
Hundreds of people paraded down Plumas Street in Yuba City, participating in the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade.
Children ages 0-12 are encouraged to decorate their bikes, wagons, scooters and themselves and join in the procession that made its way to the Town Center Fountain.
“It was really fun decorating my bike,” said Jenny Wiseman, age 6, of Yuba City. Wiseman attached American flags to the front of her bike and red, white and blue streamers to her handle bars. She was also sporting American flag-themed sunglasses and she cruised down the road.
This year’s parade was a bit different then previous years because it started with a flag rededication ceremony at the corner of Plumas Street and Highway 20. Right after the dedication, the procession of kids and their families made their way to the Town Center Fountain, where the Yuba-Sutter Symphony greeted them with a concert of patriotic music. Director Corey Kersting led the Symphony in popular patriotic tunes including “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “God Bless America.”
While the music was playing, parade participants enjoyed a hot dog lunch, complete with a bag of chips, water and a cookie.
“Can’t beat a parade and a hot dog on the Fourth of July!” said Dennis Hawkins, who brought his two children out to the festivities.
Wheatland Lions Club members Jay Pendergraph and Jim Dawson were busy grilling up a lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers at the annual Fourth of July Wheatland Community Picnic.
“What’s the Fourth without a burger and a hot dog?” fellow Lions Club member and Picnic Chairman Bob Agles said.
In addition to lunch, attendees of the picnic could browse the multiple venders onsite, try their hand at bingo or horseshoes and purchase tickets for the two raffles that were held yesterday.
The little ones could run around on the playground or cool off on the inflatable water slide.
“Everyone is out having a good time, enjoying small town America,” Agles said.
According to Pendergraph, the service organization has hosted this event for the last 39 years.
“Every cent that we make we give right back to the community,” Wheatland Lions Club President Patti Agles said.
For the last few years, the Lions Club has partnered with the local chapter of 4-H to organize this annual community event.
“Its hard to say how many people come each year,” Lions Club member Becky Pendergraph said. “But I’d say most of the town comes and goes throughout the event.”
Right as the clock struck 2 p.m., members of the Colusa Lions Club dumped 1,500 yellow rubber duckies into the Sacramento River – just east of the Colusa Boat Lunch – as part of the second annual Jim Davison Rubber Duckie Races.
This has been a Fourth of July tradition for many years, but was renamed last year to honor the events co-founder, Jim Davison, who passed away in 2017.
Five boats drifted down the river with the duckies, ready and waiting to see which one of them would cross under the River Road bridge first, just over half a mile downstream.
“The cool part about this event is coordinating the multiple boats that we need,” said Jim Pingrey, Colusa Lions Club member and event coordinator.
A group of spectators watched from the bridge as the yellow mass of plastic ducks made their way towards them, hoping their numbered duck was the leader.
Nearly 20 minutes later, anglers got their nets as the ducks crossed under the bridge. They fished out the winners – carefully marking which numbered ducks crossed the finish line first.
“Those are all seasoned veterans out there on the boats,” said Tom Reische, who coordinated the event for many years. “They have all been doing this for many years.”