The Cambrian

Full day of festivities planned for Fourth of July on Friday in Cambria

The crowd enjoys Fourth of July in the park in Cambria in 2013.
The crowd enjoys Fourth of July in the park in Cambria in 2013.

If you forgot to display your flag July 2, on America’s “original” Independence Day, you can make amends Friday by joining Cambria’s traditional Fourth of July celebration at Shamel Park starting at 11 a.m.

American history buffs may recall that John Adams, one of the Declaration of Independence signers, predicted that July 2, 1776, the date the Continental Congress voted for the principal of independence, would be commemorated as the anniversary of the legal separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain.

But General George Washington had other ideas. On July 4, 1778, the commander of the Revolutionary Army directed an artillery salute and a double ration of rum for his soldiers to mark the date of the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Then as now, rank has its privileges.

Opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Friday in Shamel Park in Cambria include an American Legion honor guard raising the Stars and Stripes, Mark O’Bryan singing the National Anthem, and Legion Past Commander Brian Griffin presenting an achievement award to The Cambrian Editor Bert Etling.

Then it’s fun, food, and games until a fireworks show at 9 p.m.  Kids can enjoy swimming, races, face painting, and the Lions Club bounce house.

Three popular bands making repeat performances will provide foot-stomping music: Stella, Held for Ransom, and Rough House.  A newcomer group, Coffee to the Conning Tower, will add its talents.

An annual feature will be the Great Waiter & Waitress Relay Race, pitting rival restaurant servers from San Simeon and Cambria. Because San Simeon Beach Bar and Grill runners have won the event for as long as anybody remembers, they may be required to attach short bungee cords to their ankles.  That’s after their lane has been soaked with water.

American Legion officials remind residents that the fireworks show costs approximately $12,000. Food purchases and contributions help ensure that fireworks continue at future July 4 celebrations and fund 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 Olympics Athletes.

“We hope every Cambrian participates,” a Legion spokesperson said. Oh — and Brits are also welcome. 

Independence Day events

Shamel Park, 5455 Windsor Blvd., Cambria

11 a.m. Opening Ceremonies (flag raising, singing of the National Anthem)

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kids races

All-day Lions Club bounce house and swimming pool

Noon to 12:30 p.m. Music by “Coffee to the Conning Tower”

12:30 p.m. Waiter and waitress race

1 p.m. Swimming pool opens

1:30 p.m. Linn’s pie eating contest (enter at or call 927-1499)

3 p.m. Prize drawings

3 to 4:30 p.m. Music by “Stellar”

5 to 6:30 p.m. Music by “Held for Ransom”

7 to 9 p.m. Music by “Rough House”

9 p.m. Fireworks show

Sober Fourth

2 to 5 p.m. — Fourth of July barbecue and potluck. Alcohol free. Hamburgers, hotdogs, corn-on-the-cob, drinks. Live music. Barbecue served at 3 p.m. Free. Public welcome. Family friendly. Cambria Connection, 870 Main St., Cambria.