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‘Small-town’ pride on display

Event: Acton’s parade shares community pride while celebrating America’s independence

Posted: July 3, 2010 9:42 p.m.
Updated: July 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Alex Hernandez, 13, left, and Richard Valenzuela, 13, demonstrate trick-rope techniques while representing the Amigos of Acton entry during Acton’s parade to celebrate Independence Day on Saturday.

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Zane Pratt thrust his baseball glove into the air and caught some candy thrown by Uncle Sam. 

The 8-year-old handed a couple of pieces off to his dad. Then the cowboy hat-donning pair sat back down in their John Deere utility vehicle and finished watching the 48th annual Acton Fourth of July parade.

“This parade says it all,” said Jim Pratt, 54.

“There are a lot of people in L.A. County, but this is a small town and it’s very nice.”

The parade of about 64 floats, horse buggies and tractor trailers made its way down Crown Valley Road on Saturday morning. This year’s theme was “Acton: A Community with Heart.”

There was no lack of pride for the rural community coming from the hundreds of viewers who lined the road with their own tractors, lounge chairs, horses, RVs or blankets.

“We have wonderful businesses and people,” said parade announcer Lee Bernard, of Acton. “I’ve lived here 31 years; never a dull moment.” A parade watcher yelled out, “It’s the best!” from across the street in agreement.

Acton Chamber of Commerce President Jim Schutte said the local community banded together to raise donations for the parade. The parade’s grand marshals were three young residents who have exemplified community service, he said.

“Everybody supports the community volunteering and financially,” Bernard said.

A panel of judges rated the entries, looking out for stand-outs in categories such as best dressed cowgirl and best decorated horse rider.

Crown Valley Community Church converted the bed of a big rig into a festively decorated musical platform. Others celebrated in their old-fashioned vehicles or tractors.

Kids and parents on the sidelines were armed with water guns, ready to squirt any float rider who attacked them.
Siblings Jessica, 17, and Samuel, 15, Lawrence were all about the water fights.

“I like how it’s a small-town parade and you can interact with the people in the parade,” Jessica said.

Zane Pratt grew particularly excited when some hairy animals emerged from one float.

“Goats!” he said.

“You know things are happening when the goats come out,” the elder Pratt said. “How many parades are you going to see a goat in the back of a trailer?”

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