Fourth of July festivities return for 2022

Annual favorite Michael Ahman as Uncle Sam on stilts, waves to the crowd and clicks his heals during Claremont’s Fourth of July parade in 2019. COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff

The Claremont Fourth of July celebration is coming back this year with all the familiar events and celebrations, but with a revised events lineup.

The annual event was canceled for the last two years because of the pandemic, however, city staff, with support from the Independence Day Committee, made changes to ensure adequate staffing during the holiday.

The biggest change in the traditional lineup comes Saturday, July 2, when the Claremont Village Freedom 5000 Run, Walk will be held. Co-hosted by the City of Claremont and the Claremont High School cross country boosters, the kids 1K will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 5K run at 8 a.m. and the 5K walk plus competitive race walk five minutes later.

On July 4 the fun kicks off with the Kiwanis Club’s pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m., followed by the flag raising ceremony at 9 a.m. when the grand marshal, honored citizen and honored community group will be recognized.

Nominations for this year’s grand marshal, honored citizen and honored community group are currently open with a deadline of April 15. Nominees must live, work, attend school, or have graduated from a school in Claremont and must have made significant contributions to the quality of life in Claremont. “Activities should be above and beyond the nominee’s profession, paid work or normal call of duty,” according to a news release from the city.

The parade will begin at a new time, 10 a.m., at Memorial Park and will travel south on Indian Hill Boulevard, then west on Harrison Avenue, ending at Larkin Park.

Also beginning at 10 a.m. will be the Fourth of July festival featuring information booths, children’s activities, live music, and food vendors. The T. Willard Hunter Speakers Corner, where residents can sign up for a few minutes of constitutionally-protected free speech, will begin at 10:45 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. when the festival closes.

The celebration concludes with the fireworks show at Strehle Track on the Pomona College campus. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with music from the Ravelers beginning at 6:45. The grand finale begins at 9 p.m. with a fireworks display by Exposhows.

Claremont students in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to enter their ideas for the theme of this year’s Fourth of July celebration. Each theme submission must be five words or less and contain no more than 36 characters. The student who submits the winning entry will receive fireworks tickets, a certificate, a special place in the parade and will lead the flag salute at the flag raising ceremony.

The Independence Day Committee will hold auditions on April 28 at 7 p.m. for this year’s National Anthem contest. Entrants must be in grades 7 through 12 and either reside in Claremont or attend a Claremont school. The winner will receive fireworks tickets, a special place in the parade and will perform the National Anthem at the fireworks show and flag raising ceremony. Runners-up will be selected to perform at the Freedom 5000 or concerts in the park. The deadline to submit an entry is April 15 and auditions will be in the Padua Room of the Alexander Hughes Community Center, 1700 Danbury Rd.


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