SALINAS VALLEY — Independence Day will be celebrated in numerous events throughout South Monterey County, bringing community engagement in 2021 to honor the 245th birthday of the United States and its freedoms after last year’s pandemic lockdowns.


Pacific Valley Bank’s Fourth of July Parade in King City will begin at 10 a.m. This year’s parade route runs along Broadway from Second Street to San Lorenzo Park, with an announcer stand in the parking lot in front of Ace Hardware.

The parade’s Grand Marshal will be veteran Frank Garcia. Organizer Krysta Eddington said interest has been shown for more than 30 exhibits so far.

King City Young Farmers will host a grand opening for its Avenue of Honor inside San Lorenzo Park at noon. Speakers will include retired Navy Capt. Richard Wiley, Janet Buttgereit, County Supervisor Chris Lopez and Young Farmers President Mark Phillips. The Avenue honors the 56 local service personnel — 55 men and one woman — who gave their lives in wars from World War I through Afghanistan.

Phillips said the Young Farmers consider the battle cross to be the main symbol in the new Avenue, which is composed of a rifle, dog tags, helmet and boots. The benches were finished last week, but the majority of the Avenue has been completed since last year, when the group planned to host a Veteran’s Day grand opening before pandemic shutdowns canceled those plans.

“It’s a process that started 21 years ago,” Phillips said. “To have it finished and look as nice as it does, we’re relieved and happy about it.”

The Young Farmers will also host a barbecue in the park, and have already begun selling tickets.

King City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture’s annual aerial fireworks show will take place on July 3 at dusk. The show is visible from City of King Park, off Division Street.


Greenfield will host a fireworks celebration at Patriot Park on July 4. Parking for the event begins at 5 p.m. and the fireworks show will start at 9 p.m. Attendees are invited to enjoy the show from the comfort of their cars or bring lawn chairs to view it from the large park area.


Soledad will host a Star Spangled Children’s Parade for children, teens, groups, pets and families, in any manner of locomotion, from bikes to wagons. Attendees are asked to wear star-spangled attire.

Judging and lineup starts at 1:30 p.m. at Main Street Middle School parking lot, 441 Main St.

The parade begins at 2 p.m. and will move down Main Street to the town clock on Front Street. Prizes will be awarded afterward. For information, call Pauline Tomasini at 831-678-3379.

Due to the impact of Covid-19 on the fundraising, Soledad will not have an aerial fireworks show this year.


Gonzales Rx Pharmacy will host the seventh annual Orange and Black 5K, a run/walk aimed at fundraising for better education, on July 4. Check-in and registration begins at 7 a.m., and the run start time is set for 8 a.m. The race will start and end at Central Park, 207 Fifth St.

There is an entry fee, and participants will receive a T-shirt and event bag with goodies. Proceeds benefit Gonzales High School scholarships. For information, contact 831-675-3643.

Gonzales Fire Department will host a parade beginning at 12 p.m. The route will start at the Taylor Farms Family Wellness Center at 850 Fifth St. and then travel along Fifth Street through the downtown area. Lineup begins at 11 a.m.

Those interested in joining the parade can contact Fire Chief Jason Muscio at [email protected].

Fourth of July in the Park, presented by Gonzales Rotary Club, takes place from 12 to 5 p.m. on July 4 at Gonzales Central Park. There will be live music, children’s activities, food and booths in addition to Rotary’s Famous Rib BBQ. For tickets to the barbecue, email [email protected].


Fort Hunter Liggett in Jolon will host a 4th of July Jamboree from 5 to 10 p.m., which will take a nominal cash-only entry fee to attend. There will be fireworks, carnival games, food vendors and live entertainment.

Everyone is invited to the event, which will be the army installation’s first Independence Day celebration. No tailgating, outside food, beverages or coolers will be allowed. For information, call 831-386-3525.

The first-ever 4th of July Jamboree, hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, will take place at the Fort Hunter Liggett Multi-Purpose Range Complex.

The Stagecoach Three will play country music from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Soundhouse Productions will be onstage with various genres of music from 7:30 p.m. until the professional fireworks show, which begins at 9:30 p.m.

Festivalgoers are welcome to bring their own chairs and blankets. Free water will be available to be sure everyone stays hydrated, and bottled water and soda will also be sold. There will also be a beer and wine tent available for adults.

Parking is located at the corner of Jolon and Sam Jones roads, and will be open at 3 p.m. A shuttle service will be available to transport visitors to the event area.

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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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