After days of June Gloom marine-layer clouds and fog, Mother Nature provided a clear and vivid Independence Day afternoon and evening on July 4. The crisply cool night was illuminated by incandescent fireworks over the sea at Shamel Park.
Some people said later on social media that this year’s professional fireworks display was Cambria’s best in years. Apparently, there were a couple of drones in the sky during the fireworks, and a few Facebook posters said they’d love to see that video!
The fireworks capped a busy afternoon at the packed-full park, with kids’ games, restaurant servers in a don’t-spill-the-glass relay race, competitors diving headfirst into a pie-eating contest and lots of energetic folks dancing the night away to the live music of popular local entertainers.
People headed for the park early in the day. Before noon, parked cars were already lining Windsor Boulevard all the way to the Highway 1 bridge and beyond into West Village — and way up some of Park Hill’s steep residential streets.
And, in a nod to Cambria’s “I Squibbed” tradition, a contingent of clean-up helpers pitched in the next morning to tidy up the park and other areas impacted by the crowds.
(The back story: When historian/teachers Paul and Louise Squibb lived in what is now Squibb House Bed and Breakfast on Burton Drive, they did a daily cleanup along Burton Drive. In the 1980s, when the Cambria Chamber of Commerce revived the July 4th fireworks event, the morning of July 5th was designated as a “Squibbing Day Cleanup” event. Some locals continue the tradition and the spirit of those events, honoring the late couple by emulating their dedication to tidying up the town’s public areas.