All info needed for Claremont’s July Fourth

New start times for parade, booths at Memorial Park

The annual Claremont Fourth of July Celebration has some changes this year but promises to hold true to tradition in every other way.

Information, game and selling booths at Memorial Park will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this year, with the good ol’ hometown parade at 3 p.m. The earlier parade start should give folks a little more time to barbecue and swim in the afternoon before the fireworks show gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Memorial Park will be transformed as performers roam the grounds, providing color and fun for people of all ages. Stage entertainment will include a variety of bands and musical acts, and there will be demonstrations throughout the park, including clowns, strolling musicians and jugglers.

Children’s activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the east side of the park just north of the game booths. About a dozen different nonprofit organizations, including the Independence Day Committee, provide free games and activities for children including water slides, a rock-climbing wall, an inflatable jumper, an obstacle course and a wildlife show.

Enjoy the pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club from 7 to 10 a.m. The breakfast helps raise funds for a variety of organizations and programs supported by Kiwanis. Tickets—going for $5—may be purchased at the booth. The full breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, juice, milk and coffee. Proceeds from the breakfast help support AbilityFirst, the ReadMe program, Shoes that Fit, Habitat for Humanity, the Monday Night Concerts in the Park, Best BET and other youth and community activities.

If still available, fireworks tickets will be sold in conjunction with the breakfast and may still be available at the information booth at 10 a.m.

Handicapped parking and convenient drop-off is available. Drivers with handicapped placards may park on Eighth Street between Indian Hill Boulevard and Yale Avenue. Additional parking will be available on parts of Yale Avenue (signage will direct you).

The parade begins at 3 p.m. at Tenth Street and Indian Hill Boulevard, goes south on Indian Hill to make a right on Harrison Avenue and concludes at Larkin Park. The parade is sponsored by Claremont Lincoln University.

And, just in case the need arises for first aid, a station will be located on Yale Avenue, between Eighth and Tenth Streets, just east of Memorial Park.


Claremont’s fireworks light the night sky, lift spirits

Claremont’s annual fireworks show is a favorite among locals. This year’s extravaganza, sponsored by the DoubleTree and Pomona College, aims to delight adults and children alike. 

Tickets, which are $8 presale or $10 at the door (if available), can be purchased at the Alexander Hughes Community Center, the Chamber of Commerce, the Claremont Club, Rio de Ojas, Vons and Wolfe’s Market. If it isn’t sold out, limited tickets may be available Tuesday, July 4 at Memorial Park.

Gates at the Pomona College Strehle Track open at 6:30 p.m, with a live concert featuring the Ravelers and the yearly Kiwanis barbecue—those folks sure are busy!

After a heart-warming rendition of the National Anthem by Carly Sanden, families, friends and lovers can cuddle up at 9 p.m. to watch the night sky lit up by such favorites as the Peony, Girandola and Skyrocket. And keep your fingers crossed for the appearance of a smiley face in the Claremont sky!

For more information, call the city at (909) 399-5490 or visit


The T. Willard Hunter Speakers’ Corner

Using London’s Hyde Park Corner as inspiration, Reverend T. Willard Hunter began the Claremont Independence Day Speakers’ Corner in 1977 to showcase the constitutional right of free speech.

Over the past 40 years, topics from politics and religion to current events and history have graced the podium under the big shade tree at Memorial Park. The rules are simple: speakers get 10 minutes to talk about anything they want with only three conditions—no selling, no nudity, no swearing.

Rev. Hunter was a dynamic speaker and is perhaps best known for his 34-hour, eight-minute address delivered outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in 1982—a speech he again delivered in London in 1984. He set a Guinness Book world record for that talk.

Former mayor Karen Rosenthal is keeping Rev. Hunter’s spirit alive by coordinating the Speakers’ Corner each year. She paid tribute to Rev. Hunter one week after his death in a speech at the Claremont’s 2009 Fourth of July celebration.

“Willard was our social conscience, our mentor and our friend,” she said. “We were very proud to have had him with us for so many Independence Days. He was truly a Claremont treasure.”

After graduating from Harvard Law School, Rev. Hunter spent his early career involved with Moral Re-Armament, a political movement that encouraged deference to honesty, unselfishness and love.

He and his wife Mary Louise Hunter, who died in 2010, came to Claremont in 1959 after Rev. Hunter became the coordinator of development at the  Claremont Graduate School.

Mr. Hunter, who lived his final years with his wife at Pilgrim Place, died at age 93 on June 29, 2009.

10:50 Welcome

11 a.m. Mayor Larry Schroeder

         “Giving Back”

11:10 Colin Tudor

         “Declaration of Independence”

11:20 Sam Pedroza        

         “To The Good Citizens of Claremont”

11:30 Peter Weinberger        

         “When Trump Wins, Americans Lose”

11:40 Sonja Stump        

         “Shop Local For a Stronger Community”

11:50 Susan Allen 

         “Remembering The US Constitution”

12 p.m.        Ellen Taylor

         “The Importance of Voting”

12:10 Daniel Davis


12:20 Kris Meyer 

         “TRUMP: This Republican Understands My Priorities”

12:30 Merrill Ring

         “Failing Democracy: The Electoral College”

12:40 Carolyn Gonzales  

         “The Pseudo American”

12:50 Bertil Lindblad

         “The Leadership Role of the USA in the UN”

1 p.m. Michael Keenan

1:10   Patrick Kelly        

         “The Presidency-A         Historical Perspective” 

1:20   Lissa Petersen and Terry Grill     

         “What’s Up With the Wilderness Park?” 

1:30   David Nemer       

         “Is Change Predictable?” 

1:40   Betsy Cline    

         “Citizens Climate Lobby:

         A Climate Solution 

         That Works For Everyone” 

1:50   Catherine Henley Erickson       

         “4th of July Poems” 

2 p.m. Closing


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