During the Fourth of July festivities, Lincoln, California was reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s Americana.
Independence Day rolled into Lincoln in the form of a large, traditional parade through the downtown area. By the start time of 9:00 a.m., several thousand people had lined the parade route along 5th, F and 6th Streets.
Parade watchers got a temporary break from the string of 105°+ days leading up to Independence Day. A partly-cloudy morning sky gave some much-appreciated shade from the hot sun. Children along the parade route were jumping with anticipation, or perhaps letting off some pent-up steam from seven days of air-conditioned cabin fever.
The parade was emceed by Lincoln Chamber of Commerce board member Rob Wolf, who introduced each parade entry as it passed the podium at the corner of 5th and F Streets. A mix of displays moved along the route, including marching bands, local merchants, golf carts, classic cars, All-Star teams, Scouts, and a stilted Abraham Lincoln character in a black suit. Occasionally the crowd was treated to tossed candies or random sprays of cold water. Candy for the kids, water sprays for the rest.
As the military groups passed by the crowds, a wave of standing ovations followed them.
The farmers market was held in the morning to coincide with the parade. Beermann’s Plaza was packed with locals checking out the various vendor booths.
The 4th of July festivities moved to McBean Park for the remainder of the day. The afternoon at the park featured free swimming pool access, courtesy of Thunder Valley Resort Casino. Live music played on the McBean Park gazebo while the shaded areas were filled with anyone who chose to venture out into the mid-day heat. Vendors were on hand to sell food, drinks and to show off their trades. Heritage Church offered a free KidZone area, with inflatable jump houses, a live animal display and the famous fish tank from Big M Fishery.
The clouds were gone and the temperature peaked at 108° in the late afternoon.
As the sun began to set and the temperature slowly crept south of the century mark, locals began to fill the park area with blankets and folding chairs. By dusk, the park was packed with citizens, listening to live music and waiting for darkness and the legendary fireworks display to begin.
As the Heritage Church Band played a Hendrix-esque version of the National Anthem, the fireworks display began with a static display of the American flag over the baseball fields. Soon the sky was ablaze with over 20 minutes of spectacular fireworks. As the grand finale ended, a swell of cheers rose from the park as locals gave their loud approval of the amazing display.
Special thanks go out to the numerous volunteers who spent the last year preparing for this day. Throughout the day, it was easy to temporarily forget about the trivial annoyances of modern life and just enjoy the old-time community feeling of Lincoln.
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