Independence Day Events in Santa Barbara
By Robert Bernstein
Independence Day was celebrated in many ways in many local places. We attended the major downtown Santa Barbara events.
Here are all of my photos and videos!
We arrived downtown around 12:30PM to plant our chairs at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens for the 5PM concert. In the past, the concert has filled the Gardens out to the surrounding streets. More about that later.
Then we headed over to State Street for the 1PM Parade. On our way we stopped in La Arcada to visit the turtles
And, appropriately for the Independence Day occasion, we visited Benjamin Franklin, too!
A vendor sold flags as the crowd waited for the Parade to begin
A Color Guard started the Parade, followed by the Gold Coast Pipe Band
Then came the Boy Scouts bearing the flag
Lady Liberty was next, though she was more blue than the green patina I remember!
Independence Day is often marked with military tributes. It was good to see the Peace Corps honored as well, with volunteers carrying the flags of the nations they worked with in peace
Next came the Santa Barbara Gymnastics Club, performing an endless series of gymnastics feats as they headed down State Street!
Of course, there were local elected officials, starting with Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo
Supervisor Das Williams
Assembly Member Monique Limón
And Congress Member Salud Carbajal
La Boheme displayed their energetic dance moves and beautiful costumes for the second time in less than two weeks! They had also performed in the Solstice Parade!
These beautiful Insect Art Bicycles were another carryover from the Solstice Parade!
The Knights of Columbus walked behind them
Then a drum and fife marching band bearing a 1776 flag and a "Don't Tread on Me" flag
The Daughters of the American Revolution cruised on a Santa Barbara Trolley
This family had a flag from the flag vendor and the children had scooped up candy thrown by some of the parade participants
Bream Optometry took the opportunity to advertise with creative eyeball art and costumes!
The Santa Barbara County Sheriffs had their own Pipe and Drum Corps
The Veterans of the US War in Vietnam had a large contingent
Including a Huey Helicopter
and a group riding atop the Thomas Towing truck pulling it
Another military vehicle with passengers on display
Heal The Ocean founder Hillary Hauser rode on a Jeep
Chief of Police Lori Luhnow rode behind her
Even General Douglas MacArthur rode a Jeep
Along with some less famous people
The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Irwin marched on horseback
Then came a series of classic cars. Starting with the Ford Model A Club
Then came the Corvettes
This was my favorite of that group
Mission Linen Supply advertised they are "Using the World's Most Modern Equipment"
Some more classic vehicles followed
Some carrying Shriners
Veteran of the Year Ellery Price rode in a 1960s classic Chevrolet
Not sure if anyone caught the irony of this beautiful British car festooned with American flags!
This band played music from the British band Rolling Stones!
Next to last in the parade were trikes and bikes
Snoopy caught a ride on one
The Parade Finale was a fire engine with plenty of passengers
After the Parade we went to the Mission Art Show
Plenty of good art and crafts and clothing. But it seemed publicity was sparse this year. I do hope the art show returns next year with better publicity! My friend Nadine Mitchell was selling her fabric crafts with a smiling face.
Then we returned to the Courthouse Sunken Gardens for the afternoon concert. It is usually a packed crowd. But this year it was a smaller concert. Not the Symphony as we have had in the past. The Crown City Brass Quintet expertly played many of the usual favorites.
But the smaller performing group drew a smaller crowd than in the past.
Here I recorded their beautiful rendition of "Bugler's Holiday"
As we made our way down to the beach for the fireworks, we were pleasantly surprised by the Santa Barbara Piano Boys. These young teens are extraordinary!
Here are a couple of my recordings of Zeyn Shweyk playing solo
A steady crowd streamed under the tunnel to the beach
At the Dolphin Fountain we encountered our friends Kimi Vandyk and Kent Epperson with their musical art bicycle. You can often see them in the bicycle parade at the end of First Thursdays!
We settled on the sand nearby
In time for some wonderful fireworks displays! Here is a long clip of the beginning of the show
This clip demonstrates a new effect involving a "shhh" sound. Way cool! Always something new!
And here was the Grand Finale!
But there is another kind of Grand Finale: The crowd emerging en mass from the beach back through the tunnel! A bit tense with so many people squeezed in such a tight space. But also very energizing! Somehow it all works! I always wear earplugs for this as it is really loud!
That's all for now!