Familiar Fourth of July celebration to return in 2025

In a move likely to please most residents, the City of Claremont is moving the Claremont Village Freedom 5000 1k/5k run back to Independence Day in 2025. This will enable the city to hold all Fourth of July holiday events on the same day.

Back in 2022, the city decided because of staffing issues to schedule the race several days before the Fourth of July holiday, and this year will follow, with the event held on Saturday, June 29. This change has been consistently questioned by the public given the race is such an important component to kickstart holiday festivities. Here is Melissa Vollaro, Director of Human Services for the City of Claremont statement sent to the Courier Tuesday:

“The city is excited to share some good news regarding the 2025 4th of July Celebration! Following last year’s events, city staff began discussing potential ways of returning the race to the morning of July Fourth. After months of research, meetings, and community conversations, the city is thrilled to have found a creative solution to bring the Claremont Village Freedom 5000 1K/5K back to the 4th of July beginning in 2025!

“The city has received a firm commitment from Claremont Sunrise Rotary to take on the coordination and implementation of the event beginning in 2025! Claremont Sunrise Rotary has been the host of the annual Turkey Trot for 17 years, and the city is grateful for their passion and expertise that they will bring to coordinating the race!

“With the return of the race to the day-long celebration on the 4th, staff will begin working on modifying the overall event schedule for next year following this year’s event. Over the next two months, staff will focus on finalizing the 2024 event which promises to be a fun-filled celebration for the community!”

I could not agree more.

Events still need evaluation

In April the Courier published a poll on how to improve July Fourth events, focused on timing of the race and parade. It received 233 votes, and by a three to one margin it was clear the public wanted all events to take place on the holiday. Additionally, in 2022 the parade moved from its traditional start time of 3 p.m. to 10 a.m., causing a noticeable drop in attendance. Others have also questioned the diminished quality of the fireworks show, which is noticeable when compared to neighboring cities, especially Upland. Claremont will spend more than $30,000 on its fireworks show this year.

What made the holiday work so well in the past was how each event followed the other, with no overlap. The Freedom 5000 and pancake breakfast started the day, bringing large numbers of revelers and runners to Memorial Park, followed by booth openings, Speaker’s Corner, family activities, and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The parade would follow at 3 p.m., followed by an evening live music event at Pomona College and fireworks at sundown.

The good news is Claremont is listening to community feedback. It will be interesting to see the final results.

The Fourth of July represents a unique yearly opportunity for the Claremont community to celebrate our country together, regardless of political views. The holiday enables us to meet face to face, in a festive holiday atmosphere on an important day in American history.

The Courier staff was busy Thursday producing the print edition, website updates, and newsletter at its new location: the historic Garner House at Memorial Park. Today’s edition is the first of many that will be produced at our new location. Courier photo/Betsy Weinberger

New Courier digs

The Claremont Courier has moved its offices to the historic Garner House in Memorial Park, where we now share space with Claremont Heritage. Although we are still waiting for final approval from City Council, we are here and are producing this week’s editions from Garner, a historic home that now houses two historical Claremont nonprofits.

These changes are a direct result of the pandemic, when our staff transitioned to remote work. That change holds today, when, with the exception of Thursdays, when our print and digital editions are produced, our editorial staff remains primarily remote. The move will have no impact on our products: our website will still be updated six days a week, our two newsletters will publish every Tuesday and Friday, and of course our print edition will be on newsstands every Friday.

What this move means is the Courier continues to commit to running a tight nonprofit ship, but not at the expense of meeting our publishing responsibilities. This change will also allow us to hire a new staff reporter in the fall while enhancing our event and marketing initiatives.


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