Turlockers came out in the thousands to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with a Patriotic Parade and Independence Celebration.
The now traditional Independence Day event has grown every year for the last three years. The first year the community desperately needed a hometown celebration due to the economic forced trend of staycations (people just staying home and relaxing or taking day trips instead of traveling). Last year the Turlock Centennial Celebration was incorporated into the Fourth of July parade and helped make the sophomore effort more successful. This year’s hugely successful event seemed to be a continued growth from the last two, while the economy has forced many other Fourth of July celebrations to be cancelled or downsized and that staycations are still a popular trend.
The Patriotic Parade went over their limit while incorporating about 75 entries (some multiple vehicle entries). Main Street was lined with packs of people sitting on the curb while some brought their own folding chairs and blankets. The 10:00am parade, lead by Parade Marshall Tony Cabral, lasted about 45 minutes from start to finish. Elected officials such as Turlock Mayor John Lazar, Turlock City Councilman Kurt Spycher, Turlock Unified School District Board Members Tami Muniz and Timm LaVelle, and District 26th Assemblyman Bill Berryhill took part in the parade.
After the parade, opening ceremonies were held that focused around our country’s celebration of its independence. Military personnel, veterans, and Mayor Lazar lead the respectful opening ceremonies.
Once the street festival was officially going by around noon, lines were out the door at eateries such as Main Street Footers and vendors had long lines of customers. Many people enjoyed looking at all the car show entries and browsing the downtown shops until around 5:00pm.
Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association (TDPOA) reported that just over 100 cars registered to take part in the classic car show and about 45 vendors lined the streets as part of the American Legion Independence Celebration.
TDPOA Executive Director Trina Walley worked very hard to put on the event TDPOA and the City of Turlock provide for the community. While she was personally still cleaning up after the event at 6:00pm, Walley said “This year’s event was bigger than last year; we probably had about 5,000 people come out.”
“We really need more volunteers to put on this free event,” Walley said jokingly (but not).
The demand to make next year’s event even bigger and better has already begun. Anyone interested in next year’s event or any other Turlock Downtown event should contact TDPOA at