The Cambrian

A fantastic Fourth of July in Cambria

Kids compete in a sack race during Fourth of July events at Shamel Park in Cambria.
Kids compete in a sack race during Fourth of July events at Shamel Park in Cambria. Special to The Cambrian

Fog threatened to dampen July Fourth spirits, as well as the fireworks display at Shamel Park, but Mother Nature kept that wet blanket at bay just long enough, according to some who attended Cambria’s holiday festivities.

The park was packed with people, said Brian Griffin of American Legion Post No. 432, and booths sold out of food despite having the main event on a Monday with many North Coast visitors leaving town earlier that day so they could be at work bright and early Tuesday morning. Mostly overcast skies kept temperatures cool.

Most motels were busy but not filled (except on Saturday night), Carson said, and restaurant crews were kept hopping most of the weekend.

“Businesses are saying they’re having a good summer.”

Firefighters lauded local residents and visitors for their fire-safety awareness. Representatives for Cambria Fire Department and Cal Fire’s Cambria station said they had received no North Coast calls for fireworks-related incidents over the holiday weekend.

It took hours and days of hard work to pull off the annual event. As usual, members of Sons of American Legion Post No. 432 did a lot of heavy lifting, including literally, as they loaded, unloaded, set up at the park and took down weighty flats for the booths. Sons’ members cooked and served, schlepped and cleaned and did much more. (They also set up and took down the American flags posted throughout town.)

Meanwhile, Nancy Taylor’s busy food crews and other Legion and Auxiliary members and Boy Scouts also put in long hours of hard work, including serving the public from various booths. Many volunteers not affiliated with the post also worked hard to make the event such a success.

Classical Fourth

Cambria’s Independence Day celebration was a traditional, family-oriented festivity. Multiple barbecues seared burgers, hot dogs and more. Kids raced, jumped and won prizes, swam and played hard.

Some restaurant servers relay-raced while holding trays loaded with full glasses (San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill won again, Sow’s Ear came in second and Linn’s third). Contestants vied to see who could eat the most pie the fastest. Bands played, DJ George Gray filled other time slots with music, and people danced on the grass by the gazebo.

After hours of “fog versus fireworks” worries, the 30-minute display of brilliant pyrotechnics, timed to the music, slipped in just under the deck of overcast. (To watch online video of the finale, go to