Atwater July 4th
Time To Be Proud,
Celebrate America!

By  John Derby
Times Publisher
June 30, 2016

There will be no bombs bursting in air in Atwater on July 4th, but there will be rockets and fireworks, and there will be a rare opportunity to see how hometown America celebrates our nation’s Independence.
For us, the Atwater July 4th celebration is a shining example of the old-time, traditional Fourth of July celebrations which take place in small towns all across the nation. Unfortunately, some hometown celebrations have been downsized or lost completely due to production costs and lack of interest.
Atwater’s July 4th festival is unique and endearing, and we can recall our own personal connection to it, dating back to 1962. The parade through downtown Atwater, and the arts, crafts, and food booths at Ralston Park, were something special. Coming from New York, we had never seen anything like this. The closest thing like it was the Macy’s parade.
For Atwater, this was such a great event that most of the town turned out, and about half of the people in the county joined them, eventually making it the biggest July 4th event in the area.
Each year the Atwater July 4th event gets bigger and better. It also gets more expensive, as the cost of fireworks increases and security becomes a much greater factor. It is only because of the support of the community, and its businesses, which allow the fireworks and event to go on.
No matter the cost, there are people in Atwater who love their July 4th and will not give it up.
One year the community even saw fit to make us the Grand Marshal of the July 4th parade and ceremony. For this publisher and his family, who rode through town in a decorated convertible, it was a tribute which will never be forgotten.
It was Atwater, after all where we first landed a job as a reporter for the Sun Star, and it was Atwater where our daughter was born and son was raised. It was Atwater High School where they both attended, and Atwater July 4th where they came year after year.
They have moved away but remember the event as very special.
We remember the event as very special too, and have personally covered the Atwater July 4 almost 50 times. We still love the parade and taking pictures in front of the viewing stand.
We love the floats, the bands and the parade of horses and antique cars.
We love to see people dress up in red, white and blue, and show their pride for our country.
We love to meet so many of our friends who come out the Atwater for the annual event.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” said one recently.
Atwater’s July 4th is so special that for one day its overshadows the turmoil and its mass killings. The United States of America is still the greatest country in the world, and where most people want to be if they had their choice.
There are those who say that America has lost its pride in itself. Note so. There is no loss of patriotism in this country, and it makes us mad to think that there are those who do not understand the importance of our freedom and democracy.
So when the fireworks go off next Monday night. Remember what this is all about.
Take a moment to thank those people who continue to make Independence Day in Atwater happen.


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