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Parade continues 81-year-old tradition

Posted: July 2, 2013 6:02 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2013 6:02 p.m.

Memers of the All-Santa Clarita Valley High School Band march down Main Street during last year's Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade. Signal file photo by Jonathan Pobre

Thursday is the Fourth of July, and in the Santa Clarita Valley that means three things: pancakes, parades and pyrotechnics.

Dedicated to long-time parade volunteer Ronnie Rollins, the annual Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade will be held at 9 a.m. again this year to beat the traditional heat.

Rollins, a Vietnam veteran, died Oct. 31 of complications from a kidney transplant. For years he drew on his experience with the Volunteers on Patrol, Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club and Ham Radio Watch to provide emergency services to the parade.

“We’ve done (the parade) for 25 years, and he had been working emergency services for at least 25 years,” parade Chairwoman Linda Storli said.

“He was the one who did communications and stationed people around the parade,” said Rollins’ widow, Patricia Rollins, who plans to attend the parade. Patricia Rollins still lives in Saugus; her two adult children live in Saugus and Canyon Country.

“I thought that was very, very nice,” she said of the parade dedication in her late husband’s memory.

The annual parade in Newhall began its run in 1932 with an “Old Time” theme. It has been held annually since then except during World War II.

Several years ago the parade was rescheduled from 10 a.m. to 9 a.m. to beat the usual July 4 heat. Despite the early hour, there’s plenty to do before the first entry heads down Main Street: the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club’s annual pancake breakfast has become as big of a tradition as the parade itself.

And those more interested in running off calories than in loading up on carbs have been invited to participate in a 10K race, a 5K walk or a Kids K, courtesy of the Santa Clarita Runners club.

Three different fireworks shows will be presented Thursday night in the Santa Clarita Valley: in Valencia, Stevenson Ranch and Castaic.




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