Independence Day celebrated in North County
–Photos by Rick Evans–
Templeton Fourth of July Parade
Thousands of locals and visitors turned out for the annual 4th of July Parade Thursday in downtown Templeton. The Firefighters Breakfast packed hundreds of people into the fire station beginning at seven Thursday morning. The fundraiser continued until the parade started at 10 a.m.
The Grand Marshals of the Templeton parade included 99-year-old Colonel Thomas Hidalgo, who landed at Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Hidalgo also served two years in the Korean War. World War II Navy veteran Bob Brown of Atascadero moved to the Central Coast in 1958 and became manager of a San Luis Obispo radio station. Cecil Gambel was born across the street from the Templeton Park in a home where the firehouse now stands. He served at Camp Roberts and one year in Japan. Rex C. Hendrix was born and raised in Atascadero. He enlisted in the Navy at the outbreak of the Korean War.
Debbie Arnold and her son, Joey Arnold, rode horses through the parade route. They were one of several horse groups to ride through the parade. Near the end of the parade, Manuel Enrique and the Dancing Horses entertained parade watchers.
The Allen Court Buckaroos featured Grandpa Art driving his 1950 Farmall Cub Tractor, pulling the grandkids- Braeden, Oliver and Dahlia on their trusty wine barrel steeds.
The event is organized by the Templeton Rotarians, who took over for Kiwanis. Although there was not official tally, attendance this year appeared to be about 25-percent greater than previous years.
Thousands attend Blue Grass freedom festival in Atascadero
Several thousand people attended the Colony Days Blue Grass Freedom Festival at Atascadero Lake Park on Independence Day. Several bands performed including Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players. Concert organizer Nick Mattson said attendance increased dramatically this year. “We’re getting estimates of twice as many people, but I think it’s closer to 20-30-percent, but it’s definitely more people. Next year the 4th of July falls on a Saturday, so it may be a bigger event next year, too.” Cars filled parking lots for the Charles Paddock Zoo, the Lake Pavilion and Faces of Freedom. Parked cars lined Morro Road for more than a mile for the event. The annual event is a fundraiser for Colony Days, which is the first weekend in October in Atascadero.
Flags and fireworks in Paso Robles
–On Independence Day, United States flags flew once again along the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Paso Robles.
Originally, Kiwanis put the flags out, but some technical issues related to securing the flags to the poles prevented their display for the last several years. Teresa Sullenger resolved the technical issues with help from Kiwanis, Shonna Howenstine of the City of Paso Robles, the Republican Women and others. Volunteers put the flags up at 5:30 a.m. on the 4th of July, and took them down at 8 p,m.
Teresa Sullenger says the flags honored the memory of Richard Benitez, the Kiwanian who led the initial effort to put flags on the Veterans Memorial Bridge. Sullenger and other volunteers say they plan to put the flags up for other holidays including Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Flag Day. Although the bridge is often called the “Niblick Bridge,” the official name is Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Paso Pops took place at the Paso Robles Event Center for the 3rd year. Attendees were treated to rides, food booths, wine tasting, and a spectacular fireworks show. Net proceeds from Paso Pops benefit Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition and the Youth Cultural Exchange Program.