This is Cambria’s Fourth of July to-do list: Two live bands and a top-rated 17-piece orchestra, check. Prizes and gear for hilarious kids’ competitions, check. Trays, glasses and balancing practice sessions for the hotly contested waiter-waitress relay races, check. Linn’s pies for the pie-eating competition, check. Lots of good food and cold beverages, check.
Swimming in the county pool starting at 1 p.m.? Yes. Free trolley service down Main Street and Moonstone Beach Drive to Shamel Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.? You betcha. Old Glory waving in the breeze throughout town. Absolutely. Free admission? As always.
Add lots of people, which is a given, and nice weather (maybe), and it sounds like the annual holiday picnic-in-the-park sponsored by American Legion Post No. 432 at 5455 Windsor Blvd. on Park Hill, west of the “Spaghetti Bowl” stoplight intersection of Highway 1, Main Street, Charing Lane and Windsor, with Moonstone Beach Drive just off to the side.
Opening ceremonies Saturday start at 11 a.m. with a Legion honor guard, Melanie Gruber singing the national anthem and comments by Legion Cmdr. David Ehlers.
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Fireworks? Sorry. Not this year, not with the Monterey pine forest and surrounding area being so very dry, so very prone to wildfires.
There’ll be no day-ending professional pyrotechnics show, and anyone found in possession of or using “safe and sane” or other incendiary devices will have those fireworks confiscated and face a fine of up to $2,000.
Bonfires and alcohol also are forbidden on area beaches and parks.
Looking on the bright side, it really won’t matter this year if the fog comes in.
Food purchases and contributions help ensure that this event will continue and go toward more than two dozen other community service projects, including multiple scholarships for high school seniors and sponsoring students for Boys State, Girls State and special athletes.
Donation cans have been put out in many downtown locations.
To keep track of all that, put this in your e-calendar or on low-tech Post-it notes:
- 11 a.m. Opening ceremonies (flag raising, singing of the national anthem).
- 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kids old-fashioned races.
- All-day Lions Club bounce house.
- 12:30 p.m. Waiter and waitress relay race (which team goes the fastest without dropping, spilling or falling down).
- 1 p.m. Swimming pool opens.
- 1:30 p.m. Linn’s sixth annual hands-down, pie-eating contest (enter in advance at www.linnsfruit bin.com or call 927-1499), with first, second and third prizes awarded in four divisions: Little kids, big kids, women and men who chow down on olallieberry-apple pies.
- 3 p.m. Prize drawings.
- 3 to 4:30 p.m. Music by “Stellar.”
- 5 to 6:30 p.m. Music by “Rough House.”
- 7 to 9 p.m. Music by “Royal Garden Swing Orchestra.”
P.S.: The closest fireworks show this year will be at the Cayucos pier at dusk (about 9 p.m.) With larger crowds expected, anybody who goes there should plan to leave early, park a substantial distance away, wear comfy shoes for the hike to the beach and take a jacket, a beverage and an extra dose of patience.