http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/06/28/15th-july-fourth-celebration-for-pleasanton


Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - June 28, 2013

15th July Fourth celebration for Pleasanton

Fireworks at Las Positas College end patriotic day

by Jerri Pantages Long

Join in a Pleasanton tradition this Fourth of July: Celebrate the birth of our nation at a free family-friendly concert and picnic from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Lions Wayside Park on First Street.

"Celebrating Freedom and its Evolution since the Revolution" features a concert by Pleasanton Community Concert Band, under the direction of Bob Williams. This year, besides its regular patriotic fare, the band will feature music commemorating Gettysburg in 1863 during the Civil War. Speaker Ann Collins and vocalist Ward Belding as Uncle Sam will do a reading and commentary of the Gettysburg Address.

Included will be a tribute to those who have served in the military, past and present, and their families as the band plays the anthems of each branch of the service.

American Legion Post 238 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 will provide the color guard. Boy Scout Troop 908 will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Scouts also assist with set-up for the program, which attracts hundreds of people of all ages.

Audience members bring their own chairs or blankets, and they can sing along to "Happy Birthday" (to the USA) and other patriotic songs. Mayor Jerry Thorne will provide the welcome.

A popular feature is "A Dog & a Drink for a Dollar," the hot dog lunch sold by the Lions Club. Lions also provide hand-held American flags for the first several hundred members of the audience to arrive.

Children can get free temporary tattoos of patriotic themes, as well as wooden tokens to trade for soft ice cream cones at Meadowlark Dairy, adjacent to the park. Adults will be provided with colorful paper fans to help beat the heat along with shade canopies.

W. Ron Sutton, who started the all-volunteer event in 1998, said it is a fun way to make sure that we remember Fourth of July for more than fireworks and barbecues. About 100 volunteers are involved in producing the celebration.

"We celebrate our shared heritage -- and still have time for other activities in the evening," Sutton noted.

The closest fireworks display on the Fourth of July will be held at Las Positas College in Livermore. The Family Fun and Fireworks Celebration runs from 4-10:30 p.m. with live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, arts and crafts, kid's activities, and a fun and games area.

Admission is $20 per car load; $5 for ages 7 and older who walk in; and $6 for those who take the bus. No coolers or alcoholic beverages will be allowed.

A live entertainment stage will host a day of top 40 fun as well as patriotic entertainment including the 191st Division Army Band and Patriotic Dance Routines with Livermore School of Dance. Kicking off the fireworks will be the ABC Music Source Children's Choir leading a patriotic singalong and the national anthem.

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