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UPDATE: Thousands line streets for Santa Clarita 4th of July Parade

Posted: July 4, 2013 4:06 p.m.
Updated: July 4, 2013 8:46 p.m.

Mike Barr of Valencia waits along Main Street in Newhall for the next entry of the 2013 Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade to pass by. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

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Thousands of spectators waved, clapped and cheered along the streets of Newhall Thursday as they watched the dozens of entries in Santa Clarita’s annual Fourth of July Parade roll by.

This year’s parade attracted a wide array of more than 70 participants, many of whom constructed floats to fit this year’s theme, “Santa Clarita — The Winning Spirit.”

The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center rolled its float to the tune of, “Over There,” a song written during World War I that includes the line, “We’ll be over, we’re coming over, and we won’t come back till it’s over, over there.”

Another float, from Prayer Angels for the Military, contained a living reenactment of the famous photograph of American troops raising the flag on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II.

Some used the parade as an opportunity to reinforce Newhall’s place in Western history. Some members of the Cowboy Social Club, for instance, came to the parade decked out in Old West regalia.

“We like spreading the word about western heritage, especially to younger kids,” said club member Sharone Rosen.

The parade also included representatives from law enforcement agencies as well as local elected officials, including members of the Santa Clarita City Council, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and state Senators Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills.

Thursday’s parade, which lasted about two hours, attracted an equally wide array of attendees, many of whom waved American flags that were handed out by those marching in the parade.

Canyon Country residents Barbara and John Weitzel said they have been attending Santa Clarita’s parade together for more than 20 years.

But Barbara Weitzel said she has been attending the parade since the 1950s.

“I’ve seen a lot of parades,” she said, laughing.

The pair said they arrived in Newhall about two hours before the parade began to claim their choice spot on Main Street, right near the beginning of the parade route.

“You’ve got to get here early if you want to find a good spot,” said John Weitzel.

This year’s parade was dedicated to long-time volunteer Ronnie Rollins, a veteran of the Vietnam War who died last year.

Rollins volunteered for years at the parade, providing emergency services by drawing on his experience with the Ham Radio Watch, Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club and Volunteers on Patrol.

Festivities in the Santa Clarita Valley concluded with several fireworks shows, including displays at Castaic Lake, in Stevenson Ranch and at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney

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