Between the annual fireworks extravaganza, a dynamic car show and Cowboy Church there are plenty of things to see and do this Independence Day weekend.
By Mary O’KEEFE
This Fourth of July holiday should be a no stress weekend if you are in the Crescenta Valley. Gathering the family into the car and heading out to traffic jams and humidity will not be necessary because CV is celebrating Independence Day as it does most everything else – with hometown events.
To start the weekend off will be the Crescenta Valley fireworks display held at La Crescenta Elementary School.
The event is produced by the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Assn. with donations from local businesses and individuals. The fireworks show has its roots deep in the Crescenta Valley. There was a chance, about 10 years ago, that the annual fireworks show would be canceled. For years the event had been sponsored by the CV Chamber of Commerce and held on the track and field at Crescenta Valley High School. But when the school got a new track and field, the show was no longer allowed at that location.
Local leaders at the time got together and began a very rapid fundraising effort to keep the event alive. Soon the small group of leaders got start-up funds and the CV Fireworks Assn. was formed. This year it is celebrating its ninth year.
The gates at La Crescenta Elementary open at 4 p.m. There will be carnival rides and food trucks including Slammin’ Sliders, Creative Eats, Berlin, Smokin’ Willie BBQ, Kabob King and Frozen Crush.
A new food option this year will include local bakery La Fleur Pastry in Montrose. The recently opened bakery will offer a Fourth of July lunchbox that will include a croissant sandwich, cookie and apple for $10. Orders need to be made in advance – by Friday at noon. Those who say “fireworks” when ordering will have a portion of the proceeds donated to the CV Fireworks Assn. La Fleur Pastry is located at 2420 Honolulu Ave., (818) 369-7223. La Fleur is also making box lunches for volunteers at the event.
It is a great way to support the CV Fireworks Assn. and local businesses, said Steve Pierce, CVFA member.
As in years past, local military personnel will be recognized and honored. This year U.S. Air Force veteran Jennifer A. Burghdorf will be the key speaker at the event.
Burghdorf was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany from Dec. 2006 to June 2010. In 2007 she was deployed to Al Udied Air Base, Qatar and in 2009 was with the U.S. Forces Afghanistan Command HQ, Kabul, Afghanistan. During her active duty she was a civil engineer serving as a construction project manager.
In 2011 she volunteered to assist in Operation Tomodachi after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant meltdown. She is presently serving as a reserve engineering staff officer at March Air Reserve Base. This month she will be participating in the South Korean real-world beddown – building facilities for troop support – and contingency planning.
Her husband Andy was born and raised in La Crescenta and graduated from St. Francis High School. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2004. He was on active duty from 2004 to 2009. He is presently with the Air Force Reserve also at March Air Reserve Base.
The couple has two young children.
Before the fireworks and the speech from Burghdorf the audience will listen, and dance, to two bands, Eli Locke with his country music band and the Eagles tribute band Boys of Summer.
“People want to hear the Eagles,” said band member Jimmy Williamson.
The band members are friends, which helps because as their popularity grows there is a lot of traveling for shows. Recently they traveled 5,000 miles in about two weeks, performing seven shows in 10 days.
The band doesn’t just perform the music of the Eagles; they love the music and understand why so many can’t get enough of these iconic songs.
“It’s heartfelt, timeless music,” Williamson said of the Eagles. “You can feel the emotions and the fine, fine craftsmanship.”
La Crescenta Elementary School is located at 4343 La Crescenta Ave. Parking can be found at the Crescenta Valley High School staff parking lots off Ramsdell Avenue. There is a $5 a vehicle charge, which is a fundraiser for Prom Plus. Free parking can be found on local streets.
Tickets to attend the event are $7 prior to noon on the Fourth of July, $10 after noon at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at the CV Chamber of Commerce, 3115 Foothill Blvd., CV Weekly, 3800 La Crescenta Ave. and Bob Smith Toyota, 3333 Foothill Blvd.
Sunday also offers fun things to do for the community. For car enthusiasts (and there are a lot in the Crescenta Valley – both owners and admirers) the annual Montrose Car Show is one place where they can show off their cars and car knowledge. Presented by the Montrose Shopping Park, the 14th Montrose Car Show is this Sunday, July 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 2200, 2300 and 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue.
There will be over 300 cars featured including exotics, hot rods and oldies. Among the star attractions are the “cackle cars” – vintage hot rods. A highlight is when their engines are revved– a sound that can be heard throughout Montrose – for eager onlookers. To hear them roar, be on Honolulu either at 10 a.m. or
While the cars are the main source of entertainment, there will also be a live band and DJ providing music for the festivities.
The Early Rodders, a car club whose members bring their cars early Saturday mornings to the United Artists Theatre in La Cañada, is one of the primary contributors of the cars that will be found along Honolulu Avenue. There are also other local car clubs and independent car owners who will also bring their classic cars for everyone to check out. One of these is Dwight Sityar who was on the organizing committee for the Montrose Car Show. Sityar has been involved with many local car shows – including the Hometown Country Fair – and has been around since the beginning of the Montrose Car Show. He said that in the beginning there were only 20 cars in the car show.
“People enjoyed the festivities,” he said, “and it kept growing and growing.”
There’s no charge to attend the car show.
Before visiting the car show, stop by the La Crescenta Center for Spiritual Living and listen to the music of the American cowboy. Cowboy Church is a longtime tradition at the Center for Spiritual Living. It harks back to days when a cowboy rode the range with his horse and guitar under an open sky … or at least that’s the romantic version of cowboy life.
To learn more about this fun church service go to page 20.