How does Cambria celebrate Independence Day?
A $18,000 professional fireworks show over the sea at dusk, kids’ games, pie-eating contest, yoga, waiter/waitress race, raffle drawings, live music, dancing and lots of food, beverages and fun — all part of American Legion Post No. 432’s annual, daylong Independence Day event at Shamel Park.
The professional pyrotechnics this year were mostly underwritten by $5,000 donations from each of three businesses: Linn’s for their Cambria restaurants and gift shops; Daou Winery for wines and restaurant (for the current Daou Mountain Vineyard and Winery in Adelaide and the eventual Daou Ocean facility); and Bob Kasper/The Real Estate Company of Cambria.
As usual, according to officials and firefighters, personal fireworks, even the “safe and sane” ones, are forbidden anywhere, anytime, on the North Coast, including on the beaches and in state parks. So are bonfires, with the exception being in fire rings and permanent barbecues in park campgrounds.
There are penalties for those who flout the rules: Anyone caught with fireworks in North Coast state parks faces “citation and/or eviction,” according to Dan Falat, superintendent of the San Luis Obispo Coast District. Elsewhere, fireworks holders or users can be fined up to $2,000.
Fireworks can cause burns and light fires.
“On this stretch of the coast, in this environment, we’re in fire country,” Falat said. “Winds can kick up at any time and those embers and sparks – even from a sparkler — can be carried for a long way and start a fire. Beach fires, too, can prompt law-enforcement reaction. “It’s a safety issue.
“People think they’re being safe by dowsing a beach fire with water and covering the ashes with sand.”
But the sand insulates the heat and tends to keep the area very hot for multiple days. “Then a barefooted kid walks over the area where the fire was, and gets badly burned,” he said.
Some of the events, as planned by event sponsor American Legion Post No. 432, the Sons of the Legion and the auxiliary, include:
▪ All day, bounce house and face painting ($5 per face);
▪ 10–11 a.m., yoga class with Tula Yoga ($10 donation per person encouraged);
▪ 11 a.m., opening ceremonies;
▪ 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., kids’ old-fashioned races;
▪ 1:15 p.m., waiter/waitress relay race;
▪ 2:30 p.m., Linn’s 7th Annual Hands-Down Pie Eating Contest;
▪ 3–4:30 p.m., live music by Brothers United;
▪ 4 p.m., raffle drawings;
▪ 4:30 p.m., Dancers by the Sea;
▪ 5–6:30 p.m., live music by Sound Wave;
▪ 7 p.m. to fireworks time, music by Rough House;
▪ sunset (about 8:45 p.m. or later), fireworks.
Yeah, parking can be a bear at the park, and getting off Park Hill after the fireworks takes patience. After all, there’s only one way out to Highway 1 — Windsor Boulevard. But help is on the way!
According to the Legion and Cambria Chamber of Commerce, the Cambria Otter Trolley will take people from Moonstone Beach Drive and Main Street to and from Shamel Park from about 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some other folks will try to skirt the jam by walking to the park from downtown, Moonstone Beach Drive or other area streets.
Others carpool, ride bikes or skateboards or hoof it from home.
Sober 4th party
The Cambria Connection is hosting an alcohol-free barbecue party and potluck from noon to 3 p.m. at the Pinedorado grounds adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. Free barbecue and side dishes, live music for dancing.
Attendees are encouraged to bring kids, friends and a favorite dish to share.
A community cleanup effort will follow at Shamel Park and other areas on Friday through Sunday, July 5-7 (and maybe beyond). The pick-up/clean-up/tidying campaign will be dubbed “Independence Day Squibbing,” in honor of the late Paul and Louise Squibb, who were known for neatening up Main Street and other downtown areas.