KING CITY — King City once again kicked off its annual Independence Day celebration early this year with a fireworks show last Wednesday at the Salinas Valley Fair’s Stampede Arena, drawing nearly 800 spectators to the grandstand to view the display while thousands more watched from the surrounding area.
The fireworks show, presented by the King City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, was organized by a volunteer crew consisting of Chamber Board of Directors Rob Cullen, Mark Fitzmayer, Melissa Grindstaff and Hermie Robles.
“This small crew did the bulk of the fundraising and production of the fireworks event,” said TJ Plew, Salinas Valley Fair CEO and past president of the Chamber Board. “We are grateful for the work of our Chamber Manager Janet Bessemer, King City Golf Course, Salinas Valley Fair, King City Fire Department, King City Police Department, King City Public Works Department and Fireworks of America for shooting the show.”
Plew estimated that more than 1,700 people were in and around the stampede grounds to watch the fireworks display, which was partially funded by the City of King as well as donations from the community. Revenue from gate admissions also helped pay for this year’s show.
“The City of King funded a portion of the fireworks show, and we are thankful for the city’s financial support,” Plew said. “We are grateful for the individuals and local businesses that stepped up and paid for the rest of the aerial fireworks show.”
The next day, the seventh annual Fourth of July Car Show at Wildhorse Cafe returned with classic cars and motorcycles south of town, followed by Pacific Valley Bank’s Fourth of July Parade along Broadway Street, with local veteran Charles DeSchepper leading the way as grand marshal.
Other parade participants included Fort Hunter Liggett’s new Garrison Commander Col. Charles Bell, King City Mayor Mike LeBarre, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6747, in addition to many local groups that brought patriotic floats, cars, tractors and horses along the route Thursday morning.
New this year was the King City Police Department Color Guard, which presented the flags for the first time during the parade. The Color Guard included Officers Matt Dillon, Dominic Mercurio and Kristian Wood and Det. Joshue Partida.