Five for the Fourth
Down-home city celebrations mark the main local draws.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
William Faulkner described independence best: “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
Despite several fireworks shows on hold because of demolished budgets, this year’s Monterey County Fourth of July practices freedom with four events starring popular local bands and spanning four different cities.
The 2010 winner of the Weekly Readers poll for Best Local Band, Cheeky Spanks, will provide live music at Carmel’s Devendorf Park (noon-4pm, corner of Junipero and Ocean). The group’s medley of originals and Beatles, Doors and Led Zeppelin covers starts at 12:30pm.
Monterey’s Fourth of July Big Little Backyard Bar-B-Que and Entertainment Extravaganza (11am-5pm, Colton Hall, Pacific Street) will feature music from the Monterey Community Band (11:10am), Papa Doo Run Run (12:15pm) and the slick blues of guitarist Shane Dwight (2pm) along with free carnival games, face painting, balloon artists and jump houses.
Meanwhile, at Caledonia Park in Pacific Grove (11am-2pm, between Central and Jewell Avenue), the Chamber of Commerce delves into the true meaning of the holiday with an 11am reading of the Declaration of Independence by local actors Ron Cohen (Benjamin Franklin), Keith Decker (Thomas Jefferson) and Mitchell Davis (John Adams), paired with down-home barbecue from Grove Market ($10 adults; $5 children). The festivities close with classic rock covers from Firefly.
Little Spreckels puts together a big lineup (9am, 3rd Street), meanwhile, starting the day off with a 5K run and a one-mile race for kids 12 and under. After the races arrive a parade, craft fair and a free one-hour concert program – titled “Main Street Classics” – courtesy of the Monterey Bay Symphony (10am, Spreckels Memorial Park, Hatton Avenue between 2nd and 3rd).
Lastly, if you’re in South County, King City’s Valley Heritage Days (9am-3pm, San Lorenzo Park, 1160 Broadway Ave.) is hosting a plethora of activities including antique tractor and equipment displays, a classic car show and Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum’s famous barbecue rib dinner ($10).
With a little sunshine, this kind of freedom practice sounds almost perfect.