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2009 SCV Fourth of July Parade: Red, white and blue

Thousands turn out to 77th Newhall Fourth of July parade

Posted: July 4, 2009 11:08 p.m.
Updated: July 5, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Grand Marshal Six Flags Magic Mountain President Jay Thomas rides in the Fourth of July Parade.

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“Seeing the flag wave is what it’s all about,” says sheriff’s reserve Deputy Jim Hackett. “It’s important to maintain these traditions.”

For the past decade, Hackett has stood watch as Santa Clarita Valley residents turned out every July 4 to celebrate the founding of the nation.

A reserve deputy for 29 years and a retired U.S. Marine Corps sergeant who served in Vietnam, Hackett said Saturday he enjoys seeing the patriotic enthusiasm that characterizes the Santa Clarita Valley’s annual parade.

The Vietnam veteran is one of many sheriff’s deputies who were guarding intersections and directing traffic Saturday for the 77th Fourth of July parade in Newhall.

When Lance Cpl. Adam Buck — 19 and set to deploy to Afghanistan next year — rode by in a convertible, Hackett stepped out into the street to shake the young Marine’s hand.

“Once a Marine, always a Marine,” Hackett said.

A city official estimated that as many as 20,000 turned out for the event, which has been held sporadically, then annually, since the 1920s.

This year’s theme was “Fun in the SCV.”

Residents of every demographic stripe lined Main Street, Lyons Avenue, Orchard Village Road and 16th Street as the multicolored floats lumbered along from downtown Newhall to Newhall Park.

The parade stepped off nearly an hour earlier than usual at 9 a.m. this year, and some observers were still trickling in to claim spots after the first floats had gone by.

Parade entries were both traditional and diverse, from the Elks Club, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Sheriff’s Department to Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, Santa’s Turbo Sleigh and a “rescue donkey” from the Bureau of Land Management.

After the parade, as people milled about downtown Newhall and a mariachi band kept things lively in Jazmin’s Bakery, trophies were handed out in El Trocadero restaurant at the corner of Market and Main streets.

NorthPark Community Church’s bright and bold entry “Happy Birthday, America,” which featured balloon-toting  marchers and easily stretched several hundred feet, captured the trophies for both best religious float and the grand sweepstakes award. It was NorthPark’s second sweepstakes award in a row.

“I think this is one of the best parades I’ve ever seen,” City Councilwoman Laurene Weste said. “It worked out perfect.”

For many of the military veterans in the crowd, Saturday was a red-white-and-blue day of remembrance.

“It’s Independence Day. It’s not a holiday, really,” said Nick Callas of Canyon Country, who served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force.

“For (more than) 200 years guys have been dying to give us liberty.”

 

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