King City resident Tina Lopez rides her horse, Scarlet, dressed in red, white and blue, along Broadway near the end of the King City 4th of July parade lineup last Thursday. (Sean Roney)

KING CITY — Local groups worked in tandem this year to ensure King City and the surrounding areas had numerous ways to celebrate Independence Day.

King City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture hosted the fireworks display last Wednesday evening, then Thursday morning Wildhorse’s 4th of July Car and Motorcycle Show kicked off the local festivities first south of town.

The King City 4th of July parade began soon after and lasted nearly two hours, leading the community down Broadway toward San Lorenzo Park, where King City Young Farmers hosted their car show and cornhole tournament.

“For as warm as it is, we had a tremendous turnout for the parade,” said Steve Wilson, the parade emcee. “We had a great parade. It lasted a good hour and 45 minutes and went very orderly with a lot of entrants. We thought it would be a little lower this year because of the heat.”

Grand Marshal for the parade was Bruce Peters from Fort Hunter Liggett, which sent three vehicles to head up the parade formation behind the color guard youth of King City and Greenfield. They were also accompanied by cars from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Classic cars are followed by tractors as crowds line the sides of Broadway to watch the 4th of July parade last Thursday in King City. (Sean Roney)

Families watched from the sides of Broadway to see the various parade floats and displays. Tractors from the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum (MCARLM) collection were joined by classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, horses, firetrucks from the King City Fire Department and South Monterey County Fire Protection District Pine Canyon Station, as well as golf carts from First Tee.

Companies joined in, such as Renew Upholstery, Durans Auto Detailing and JV Auto, with the largest business group being a team of trucks from L.A. Hearne.

The car show began immediately after the parade, with entrants and spectators alike able to simply go down Broadway into San Lorenzo Park to get some shade and check out the vehicles up close.

“Many of the cars and a whole bunch more that weren’t in the parade are here,” Wilson said of the car show entrants.

Car show activities included the cornhole tournament, a rib barbecue, beverage booth and a dunk tank. MCARLM opened up the museum as well as other areas to view historic vehicles and agricultural equipment.

John Serrano (left) coils for a throw in the cornhole tournament held at San Lorenzo Park on July 4. (Sean Roney)

A total of 16 teams played in the cornhole tournament, which was held as one of the multiple fundraisers for the Young Farmers.

“Just throw a bag in a hole, at first glance it looks easy, throw this bag on this board,” said Rory Johnsen, who tracked the bracket progress of teams as they moved toward the championship. “Once you get into it, there’s a little strategy with movements and things you can do with the bag to differentiate how your throw goes. It’s intensive.”

Young Farmers member Dexter Moss said this year’s car show had 55 vehicles of various types.

“Anything and everything, as long as it’s old and cool and runs,” Moss said of the variety, which ranged from semi trucks to classic cars to motorcycles.

“Everybody knew back in the day, it was pretty big,” Moss said. “We’re trying to get it back to what is was 10 to 15 years ago. Slowly but surely, we’re getting it going.”

Attendance at the car show included King City locals and people who drove in.

“We try to get more people from out of town, from Salinas down to Paso and Templeton,” Moss said.

Steve Aguirre and Otilio Calderon look at the red finish and ghost flames on a 1935 Ford pickup owned by James Mann. (Sean Roney)

Two such visitors were brothers Steve Aguirre and Otilio Calderon, who traveled from Salinas and Gonzales, respectively.

“It’s the best place to have them on the grass, it brings out everything in these cars,” Aguirre said of the park display of cars.

Aguirre also checked out the MCARLM museum while he was at the park, since it was his first time at the location.

“They’ve got an awesome agriculture museum,” he said.

Chip Kosty, who drove a car in the parade, said the heat was noticeable but wasn’t a detraction for the day. He credited the wind picking up to cool things down for the car show.

“I come down to see old friends and look at the cars,” Kosty said of wrapping up the day at San Lorenzo Park.

Wilson echoed the sentiment, that the Independence Day activities are one of the yearly events where residents can catch up with friends they haven’t seen since last year.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.



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