FOURTH OF JULY IN SANTA BARBARA: CELEBRATING RED, BLUE & WHITE
After this year’s Independence Day started out with a morning earthquake, the Fourth of July Parade, hosted by the Pierre Claeyssens, shook State Street in the early afternoon.
Ensembles and floats marched their way to the beach from near Alameda Park. The Santa Barbara Foresters even joined in on the fun before their evening baseball game. Bearing water guns, the players splashed the crowd, generating laughs and smiles.
The parade may have ended at the waterfront, but the party continued out on the beach. After all, Waterfront activities began even before the parade did, launching at noon and ending at around 8 p.m. Attendees were able to get their faces painted, their palms read and their palates treated to different wines. Several bands entertained the crowd non-stop.
Throngs of people traveled along State Street for the party in the afternoon, and it only filled up even more as the night approached 9 p.m. when the fireworks show was slated to begin. State Street was closed to vehicles from Gutierrez Street to the Waterfront, and pedestrians were more than happy for the extra space, hooting and laughing under the Highway 101 bridge.
The fireworks show began as scheduled and continued until about 9:25 p.m. Smiley faces, hearts and stars decorated the sky with the help of special fireworks as onlookers gazed upward, phones ready in hands. The moon showed a sliver of itself to accompany the fireworks, although all eyes and cameras were on the whistling illuminations.
After the show, as folks headed back up State Street, a sort of whooping party began under the Highway 101 bridge. The fireworks seem to have fired up those who were passing under because they were celebrating with shouts, laughs, whoops and howls. Out of the celebrators, Santa Barbara resident Kevin Levin was one of the most enthusiastic.
Mr. Levin told the News-Press that as a Los Angeles-native who’s been living in Santa Barbara for more than a decade, there’s nothing like celebrating Independence Day on State Street.
Mr. Levin added that he’s more into “celebrating the heart of the community,” a statement which drew up supporting cheers from friends and strangers alike.