The sun broke through the mist at Cambria’s Independence Day celebration Sunday, July 4, just as Jerry Demorest sang the national anthem, and the nighttime descent of fog over the beach held off until after a 34-minute fireworks display that drew ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs,’ cheers and applause. The free, annual event at Shamel Park
coordinated by American Legion Post No. 432 and other nonprofit groups ‘was like a throwback to the late 1950s,’ said Post Commander Rob Maston. ‘It was just phenomenal. Everybody was happy, clapping, having a really great time,’ as children, restaurant servers and pie eaters competed
in their contests and attendees — estimated at about 1,000 — ate, socialized and danced to live music from Rough House, Mystics and Held to Ransom. Jason Buhl, an employee of the Cambria Community Services District water department, finished his 4-pound Linn’s olallieberry-apple pie in 9 minutes, 40 seconds to win first place in the 26-entrant pie-eating contest, barely nicking past Tony Jones in second place and carpenter Paul Waul in third place. Andy Zinn won a special award as “Messiest Pie Eater.” San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill’s servers won the waiter-waitress race, snatching victory back from last year’s winners from the Cavalier. Sea Chest Oyster Bar placed third. Sheri Murray, Sarah Morrow and Caron Waltman painted about 150 eager faces in six hours and celebrations continued under a lighted 17-by-13-foot American flag.
— Kathe Tanner