This year’s Fourth of July event Downtown was the liveliest yet. Crowds of area residents came to Downtown Turlock to watch the parade, visit the street fair, and take a look at the car show.
The Turlock Downtown Association reported that an estimated 15,000 people made their way Downtown to celebrate the holiday.
“Even with the temperature rising, nearly 15k of you chose to spend your day with us,” Turlock Downtown Association wrote on Facebook. “Humbled and grateful for all the support.”
Those 15,000 folks crammed into Downtown sidewalks to catch friends, family, and fellow Turlockers in the Fourth of July parade. Turlockers pulled out their favorites tractors, classic cars, and bikes to cruise Main Street. Not all on wheels though, some preferred walking or dancing through Downtown. Even political hopefuls took to the parade with Turlock Mayor candidates Gary Soiseth and Mike Brem, California 10th District U.S. Representative candidate Michael Eggman (D), and 12th District State Assemblymember candidate Harinder Grewal (D).
The post-parade festivities boasted live music, as well as several vendors including Strike Back Protection Product, dōTerra Gift of the Earth, Solar Specialists, Hooked on Cactus, Valley Veterans Legal Assistance, Valenciashop, Kat Country 103, and a Tupperware booth.
Soiseth even had his own booth where he passed out free water and thunder sticks — the latter proving to be very popular. Soiseth commented that he would also have a booth at the upcoming county fair.
“We’re very excited,” said Soiseth. “It’s all about communication in this, so we’re just trying to meet as many people as possible. It’s going to be a good campaign.”
Turlock Sikh Temple was also present, passing out free cold waters, juices, and sodas to Turlockers in the suffocating heat of the afternoon.
“This is our first time doing this,” said Gurjeet Singh. “Next year we want to give out pizza.”
Singh explained that the kids from the temple had been in the parade earlier that day on a martial arts booth. Afterwards, the whole group from the Turlock Sikh Temple parked near the train tracks by the street fair and handed out ice cold beverages. They hope to get permission to bring food to future parades, such as the Turlock Christmas Parade.
“We support freedom,” said Sandeep Singh when asked about the act of Independence Day altruism. “We love freedom.”
They also wanted to mention that the Turlock Sikh Temple has a 24-hour free kitchen, available to those in need. In addition to the free beverages from the Turlock Sikh Temple, a cooling station was set up in front of the live music stage to prove much-needed refreshment from the 100 degree heat.
Other food and beverage vendors present were Hey Honey Artisanal Lemonade, Legacy Toffee, Funnel Cakes, Dust Bowl Brewing Company, Great Crepes Creperie, Cheesesteak Sandwich, Kettle Corn, Maria’s Mexican Food and Seafood (staple) and Heaven Snow Shaved Ice.
Further down Main Street was the car show — an impressive display of classic and antique cars emceed by Gene Adams. Adams stated they plan to do 30 car shows this year. He conceded that this was one of the smaller ones, and that normally-sized shows will run from 100 to 150 cars.
“This is something that we added to the Fourth of July celebration to make it feasible for a lot of people to come out, have something to look at,” said Adams. “The success of these small shows is that they’re very intimate from the standpoint that you’re under 100 cars, you only have three awards. It gives people something to do other than just walk around and buy victuals.”
Laurie Favia, an Oakdale resident, was one of the many admiring the cars on display.
“My first car was a ‘68 Cougar,” she said, gesturing to the car nearest her of a similar model. “I paid 500 dollars for it in 1977. It was white, black top and I loved it.”
Favia listed the amount of car shows she’s been to recently, adding her thoughts about the Turlock lineup.
“It’s excellent,” said Favia. “It’s better than I thought it would be. It’s really organized and a lot more cars than we thought.”
The street fair and car show continued until 5 p.m., with the firework show permitting entry into the fairgrounds by 8 p.m. The actual show began a few minutes after 9:30 p.m., continuing until shortly after 10 p.m.