By Seo Jin LEE, intern
The Fourth of July celebration at La Crescenta Elementary School playground, 4343 La Crescenta Ave. in La Crescenta, is coming back for another year. The Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association (CVFA) in conjunction with event chairs and volunteer committees will be putting on the 9th Annual Fourth of July event for the community.
While the fireworks might be the primary draw for crowds estimated at about 3,000, ticketholders will also enjoy attractions and activities.
“We have six food trucks, a carnival and two bands,” said CVFA president Steve Goldsworthy “Starting things off will be local favorite Eli Locke and his band and the main event features [Eagles tribute band] Boys of Summer.”
The Boys of Summer started out as a tribute to Don Henley, a member of the Eagles. But about 12 years ago they decided to expand to pay tribute to the entire Eagles band and reach a larger audience.
“It has been non-stop,” said Jimmy Williamson, a founding member of the band, of its success.
The band travels to several venues throughout the U.S.
“We four guys and a tech guy travel in an older van with the trailer behind us,” he said.
Recently they traveled 5,000 miles in about two weeks, doing seven shows in 10 days.
“People want to hear the Eagles,” he said.
The band members are friends, which helps when traveling so many miles in so few days. Williamson and guitarist and lead vocalist Darrel Monson have been friends for a very long time.
“I was best man at his wedding 37 years ago,” Williamson said.
Chris Turbis, keyboards, guitars and vocals, is also a member of the band. He has toured with bands like Alligator Stew and The Shadow Men. Craig T. Fall, lead guitar and vocals, rounds out the band and has played with Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Glen Campbell and the Beach Boys.
Being a tribute band for the Eagles is a great way of life, Williamson said. Not only do the band members get to leave their everyday reality to travel (Williamson thanked “the wives” for being supportive) but they also play iconic music while everyone has a great time from the first to the last song.
“It’s heartfelt, timeless music,” he said of the Eagles’ music. “You can feel the emotions and the fine, fine craftsmanship [of these artists].”
Ticketholders will also enjoy the carnival that will include a variety of rides that the whole family can enjoy. Attractions from previous years include the Sizzler, Rolo-Plane, Rock-O-Plane and the slide. Food trucks will have for purchase a wide variety of food. Currently, the Berlin Truck, Kabob Kings, Mangia Italian Ristorante, Slammin’ Sliders, and Smokin’ Willies BBQ are on the lineup for this year’s Independence Day celebration. However, the line-up is subject to change.
The cost of a ticket through July 3 is $7 for adults; on July 4, adult ticket prices are $10. Children 7 and under are free. There will be two points of purchase at the celebration: the main entrance at the west side of La Crescenta Avenue at Prospect Avenue and on Prospect Avenue just south of Community Avenue. Gates open at 4 p.m.
“People can come at 4 p.m. and stake out a place on the playground or on Prospect Avenue, get a wristband, then return when it’s cooler,” said Goldsworthy. “It’s all about having a safe, fun event and it’s so affordable.”
As in previous years, there will be a salute to veterans with special recognition given to a few specific veterans, added Goldsworthy. There is no charge for active military personnel to attend the event.
Ticket sales will end at 8:30 p.m. At about 9 p.m. local resident Dana Ryan will sing the national anthem to kick off the fireworks display.
Because the event is family-oriented, smoking and consuming alcohol will be prohibited. All large bags and carried items will be checked at the entrance of the event. Bringing blankets and folding chairs is encouraged, as seating will take place on the asphalt on the playground.
Businesses such as Bob Smith Toyota, CV Chamber Office, CV Insurance, CV Weekly, J’s Maintenance, Pacific Outdoor Living, and the Farmer’s Market in Montrose will have tickets available for purchase.
“Every year it gets better,” said Goldsworthy. “Last year we extended the length of the show by five minutes and we’re pleased to be able to do it again this year.”