By Charly SHELTON
For the sixth year in a row, the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association will hold its annual 4th of July event. The fireworks show, which will top out at around 15 minutes, is provided as the finale to the Independence Day festival put on the field at La Crescenta Elementary.
“We are in our sixth year, and we will definitely sell out the field down below,” said Steve Pierce, committee member and past president (2008) of the association. “We always get about 4,000 people down on the field and then another 500 or so up on Prospect [Avenue] who watch the event.”
Pierce added that this year there should be plenty of food, too.
“We will have six food trucks this year,” he said. “Last year we had four, and we ran out of food, so this year we have six.”
The food trucks that are participating this year include The Grilled Cheese Truck, Frysmith – a gourmet french fry truck – Border Grill Mexican Cuisine, No Tomatoes Indian Cuisine, Let’s Be Frank hot dog cart, and a dessert truck called Frozen Crush which serves Italian Ice slushies. On Prospect Avenue near the carnival rides there will also be the Kemsley Carnival Snack Trailer with cotton candy, sno-cones, popcorn and other carnival fare.
“Everything is going to be in place by four o’clock, gates open at four,” said Pierce. “Traditionally what happens is that we get a small trickling of people to begin with, and then about 6:15 to 6:30 it just gets crazy. Everybody comes in like someone announced free food or something.
“This year I think it’s going to be the best one yet because we will have a band on the field, right down near the bottom of the ramp where everybody comes down the band will be playing. We put them there because we felt that everyone would be a little more connected to the music and hopefully dance.”
The festival offers so much, but there are precautions that need to be taken. Weather.com reports the UV index will be up to 11 – Extreme – so sunscreen is advisable, as well as drinking plenty of water. There was a case of heat exhaustion in the past at the event.
CVFW team leaders expect temperatures to be in the 95-degree range on the blacktop of the festival before the sun goes down at 8:08 p.m.
But once the sun sets, while everyone is cooling off, the fireworks will light up the sky. Robert “Hutch” Hutchins, the pyrotechnic operator in charge, will once again be coordinating the show and loading the shells all day before that night’s display. With new music, new pyro choreography and new shells, this year’s show will be approximately 15 minutes in length, launching around 900 firework shells into the sky.
Hutch comments on the show, without giving too much away.
“Never the same, always new. New music, new shells, new everything.”
When asked about what the best ‘new’ aspect is this year, he responded, “I don’t know. Wait and see.”
The fireworks never disappoint with people from all across the Crescenta Valley looking skyward the night of July 4th, be it from the school yard festival grounds or from front and back yards all across the town.
“Every show is better than the last,” said Steve Goldsworthy, vice president and coordinator of the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association. “It will be a bigger show, with a live band, and it’s the best event in La Crescenta.”
“We have face painting, we have a balloon gal coming in to do funny balloons for the kids and teenagers, we’ll have a mister system down there if it gets too warm, people can walk through the misters and cool off,” Pierce says.
Though crowds are expected and there’s a lot going on, Pierce is excited about the annual event.
“It just is crazy, crazy stuff but as always, it’s all safe and sane,” he said. “It’s a family event. We don’t have any alcohol or any smoking down in the area, we have security there, we never have had any problems. It really is a family event and that’s the way we are going to keep it every year.”
Preferred parking is available at Community and Ramsdell avenues for $10 with half the proceeds going to Prom Plus Club. Parking is on a first come basis. Handicap parking with placard is available at Glenwood and Community until spaces run out.
Tickets are available for $7 pre-sale, or $10 at the door where it will be on a first come, first served basis. Tickets have sold out in years past, so organizers advise to save $3 and ensure admittance by picking up pre-sale tickets, available at several locations across the Crescenta Valley until July 3 including CV Chamber of Commerce, Bob Smith Toyota, J’s Maintanence, CV Insurance, Montrose Harvest Market, Pacific Outdoor Living and CV Weekly. Visit cvfireworks.com for more information on the festival.