The committee looks forward to a full house at Crescenta Valley High School.
By Mary O’KEEFE
The United States has always celebrated its independence from England with fireworks. In a letter of July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to Abigail Adams saying that he believed the fanfare would continue with future generations.
He believed the day should be recognized with “illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward and forever.”
That celebration has indeed continued in the centuries since throughout towns and cities, each weaving in their own traditions. Crescenta Valley has its own fireworks display that has been going strong despite a time 10 years ago when it looked like the display would end.
For several years the CV Chamber of Commerce had sponsored the CV Fireworks.
“I was on the board of directors for the CV Chamber when they voted to have the first firework event in [the 1980s],” said Steve Goldsworthy, president of CV Fireworks Committee.
For several years the Chamber sponsored the event held on the football field at CV High School. Then the school installed a new artificial turf field and track and the fireworks were no longer allowed at the site. The Chamber stepped back and there was concern within the community that the fireworks program would be canceled forever. But community members stepped in and formed an independent committee – CV Fireworks Committee.
It should be noted that many members of the CV Chamber are still volunteers for the event; but now it is solely financed through donations from the community and local businesses.
The issue of finding a new venue was still a concern for the newly formed CV Fireworks Committee. The committee turned to the Glendale Unified School District, which allowed the fireworks to continue to be fired from the CVHS campus but would be viewed from the playground at La Crescenta Elementary School. Prospect Avenue would be closed to accommodate more seating and for food trucks. This arrangement worked well for years until 2016 when the show moves back to CVHS.
“The district hadn’t let us use the field at CV (high school) but now that La Crescenta Elementary is under construction we were able to move [the show] there,” Goldsworthy said.
It wasn’t a done deal immediately though. At one point it was uncertain if the district would allow the fireworks show to take place again at the high school.
“We were able to rent [the school] from Glendale Unified, but it comes with some severe restrictions,” he added. “The biggest [one] is we can’t allow anything that would poke a hole into the field – like a chair or umbrella – nothing that could damage it. And of course as is the case every year there is no smoking or alcohol allowed.”
Because the field is artificial turf and is very sensitive to damage those who come to view the fireworks will not be allowed to bring chairs, pop-ups or umbrellas that they intend to put into the ground. In addition, there will not be any food allowed on the field and no drinks except for water. Those who do not want to sit on the bleachers that are provided are advised to bring their blankets to sit on and can bring coolers as long as they only contain water.
The committee agreed to these conditions in order to allow the event to continue and it has adjusted the traditional fireworks set-up to accommodate the restrictions.
“We have bleachers for about 200 people,” Goldsworthy said. “And the parking area (just outside the Ramsdell Avenue entrance to the field) will be the dining area for about 500 people.”
The parking lot on Ramsdell will be filled with tables and chairs to accommodate those who want to dine by either bringing their own picnic or by purchasing food from the food trucks that will be on-site.
“We will have Berlin Food Truck, Slammin’ Sliders, Hang Ten Tacos, Crepe’n Around and Creative Eats and Frozen Crush,” said Steve Pierce, CV Fireworks Committee member.
The food trucks will be ready to serve at 4 p.m. on Ramsdell Avenue between Encinal and Altura avenues. That portion of Ramsdell will be closed, Pierce added.
Pierce and Goldsworthy said the addition of an eating area is welcomed because in the past that is one thing the former location did not have.
There will still be a kid zone like at La Crescenta Elementary with face painting. The metal carnival rides will be replaced by more inflatable toys and rides like bounce houses and jumpers, Goldsworthy said.
“This year Eli Locke and his band will be playing for two hours beginning at 4 p.m., and Stinky Felix is back and will be playing for two and a half hours,” he said.
Pierce added the committee had received comments about sound issues last year so this year they have put an emphasis on the sound system and will have concert quality speakers.
So despite some changes, the CV fireworks display will take place on Monday, July 4 and Independence Day will be recognized as John Adams thought it always should be. It should be noted that later in his letter, however, he did speak of the celebration being tempered with a dose of reality that is even more foretelling today’s world.
He wrote, “You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means….”
As in the past, there is limited parking in the lots along Ramsdell Avenue just south of Community Avenue. Parking will be $5 per vehicle with the proceeds going to Prom Plus. Handicap parking will be just south of MacDonald Auditorium.
Presale tickets are $7 with children under 7 free. Tickets sold on the 4th are $10.
Pierce reminds the community they can see the fireworks from several areas throughout Crescenta Valley; however, being at the event and listening to the accompanying music is well worth the $7 price.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets are presently being sold at several locations including CV Weekly, 3800 La Crescenta Ave. Ste. 101, CV Chamber of Commerce, 3131 Foothill Blvd., Unit D, Bob Smith Toyota-Scion, 3333 Foothill Blvd., J’s Maids & Maintenance, 3550 Foothill Blvd., JR Hardware, Sash & Door, 2916 Foothill Blvd., and CV Insurance, 3156 Foothill Blvd.
Anyone who would like to donate to the CV Fireworks Committee for future Independence Day events or for more information can visit www.cvfireworks or
(818) 248-2271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.