This will be a good summer to save money on travel and instead stay in town to enjoy back-to-back weekends of carnivals, parades, and car shows right here in Arcadia.
The Chamber of Commerce is bringing back its carnival in Arcadia Park the weekend of June 24-26, with details to be announced soon.
The following weekend, on Saturday, July 2, the non-profit community event group Arcadia’s Best Foundation will present this town’s first-ever Independence Day weekend community parade, street fair, car show, and performance program.
Mayor Peter Amundson, a longtime proponent of such an event, and the City Council, unanimously approved the Arcadia’s Best Patriotic Festival Tuesday to run from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on First Avenue south of Huntington Drive.
Organizers, myself included, intend for the event to provide an opportunity to celebrate community groups and people of our town in a traditional parade at 10 a.m. to run from El Dorado Street past the Woman’s Club and First Avenue Middle School and through the Downtown business district to the alley south of Alta Street. These and other groups will be further showcased immediately following the parade between California Street to Huntington Drive with vendor booths, a performance area for local groups on Bonita Street, and a car show featuring and open to any Arcadia resident with a car they would like to show others.
This event, with the theme “Celebrating America’s History,” would not be possible without the support of many people and organizations, beginning with the City Council. Councilman Gary Kovacic, who is expected to be the Mayor this summer, is helping Arcadia’s Best Foundation steer plans for the event. Councilman Mickey Segal, who was not at Tuesday’s Council meeting, was the first to offer tangible support for the event. Councilman Bob Harbicht, who recommended event coordinator Bruce McCallum and plans to recruit his Santa Anita A’s car club for the parade and car show, praised the concept of an event of this nature being produced by the community rather than expending City staff and resources. Several years ago the Council had to cancel a repeat of an approximately $90,000 July 4th fireworks program at the high school due to budget cutbacks.
Although Arcadia’s Best Foundation did not solicit financial help from the City, after a discussion about projected fees of as much as $20,000 for police and public works services, Harbicht’s proposal to voluntarily cover a maximum of $6,500 with City funds to help defray some of those costs for this year’s event was unanimously approved.
Details of the event, including application forms for the parade, car show, performances, and vendor booths, will be announced soon.
But many groups and individuals have already committed to participating and supporting the event.
The City’s tow service, Jan’s Towing, will provide many of their big flatbed tow trucks for groups to use for the entries of church and community groups.
Members of the new Downtown Business Association are supporting the event, with several downtown businesses as founding financial sponsors, including Post Alarm Systems, Foothill Credit Union, Matt Denny’s Ale House, The Book Rack, and Image Foundry.
Belle n Beau Photography is providing free photo sittings and prize packages for our planned Baby and Seniors Photo Contest.
Belle n Beau owner Raymond Elgin plans to include his new retro model Mustang in the car show, while Post Alarm owner Rob Post will bring his 1960s ambulance.
Other founding financial sponsors deserving of praise include the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, Waste Management, Arcadia Masonic Center, Santa Anita Park, and Arcadia Historical Society.
The Gold Line plans to use the event to provide information about construction of bridges and the station that will be just getting underway at that point, including a new 40′ x 20′ model.
Many major community groups and organizations in Arcadia have already made commitments to support the event with parade entries and attendance of most of their membership, including the Assistance League of Arcadia, Royal Oaks, Boy Scouts, and Friends of the Historical Society, among others. We also encourage Arcadia veterans, church groups, marching bands, as well as businesses who would like to create an innovative entry celebrating the spirit of 1776.
Among performance groups who have already expressed interest is a musical theater group and the Arcadia Blues Club house band. We also encourage performances by local dance, karate, and gymnastics groups.
All involved are very excited for the opportunity to showcase our community and national pride, and we hope you will join us. if you’d like to indicate your interest before we create the official sign-up, please comment below and feel free to e-mail your information to email@example.com.
— By Scott Hettrick