July 4 -- the Rancho Murieta way
It didn't near July 4 records, but temperatures at Wednesday's carnival were warm enough to require the occasional snow cone -- in colors only a kid could love.
Inside -- links to more than 400 photos from July 4 events
See some of your photos from July 4
Rancho Murieta shared another small-town Fourth of July with lots of visitors Wednesday. The traditions that give the Murieta holiday its spark also reflect the character of the community -- the 5K run was started by a resident decades ago, the pancake breakfast is prepared by volunteers, and the parade features decorated (what else?) golf carts. The Boy Scouts have a going concern preparing and selling snow cones at the carnival, and all ages are welcome to join the party at the Gazebo before the fireworks. And how many small towns have a fireworks display to cap the day's festivities? This one does.
Here are this year's parade winners, as provided by the Rancho Murieta Association:
- Most Patriotic: Haidet
- Most Creative: Sizemore
- Most Fun: O'Connor
- Best Decorated: Logan Smith
- Honorable Mentions:
- McBeath and Adams
CHILDRENS DIVISION, GIRLS
- Most Patriotic, Group: Jordean Freitas, Elizabeth Norboe, Olivia Samson
- Most Creative: Addison Pohll
- Most Fun: Dante and Giulia Tarantino
- Best Decorated: Hannah Milton
- Honorable Mentions: Kendall Overgaard, Presley Overgaard, Murieta Angels (approximately 15 kids)
CHILDREN'S DIVISION, BOYS
- Most Patriotic: Kenton Ammer
- Most Creative: Ben Gignilliat
- Most Fun: Jonathan Lommasson
- Best Decorated: Otis Cumberland
- Honorable Mention: Dominic Tozi, Nate Tozi, Andrew Tozi
About 150 runners took advantage of the cool of the morning for the 5K run. The fastest, below, were Susan Hopkey, who led the women with a time of 17:41, and Greg Pruden, who won the men's division with a time of 17:39. In the children's race that followed, Payton Remington, 6, won in the under-8 group, and Andrew Hamel, 10, was the 8-and-over winner. The event was sponsored by Erin Howard of Murieta Health Club.
Kiwanis Club volunteers prepared and served hundreds a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausages, eggs and juice at the Gazebo for a convivial start to the day.
Parade on Murieta Parkway
The parade down Murieta Parkway had about 85 golf carts decorated with themes that ranged from patriotic messages to The Three Little Pigs. A Sac Metro fire engine led the free-style parade of kids, carts and cars. The classic cars were in no hurry to end the parade, and came to a halt at one point when a driver got out to accept a fancy drink from a spectator. The event is coordinated by the RMA.
Carnival at Lake Clementia
The carnival at Lake Clementia put on by the Optimist Club has games and bounce houses, food, treats, picnics and swimming. This year the site had a few days of notoriety after the media picked up on the RMA's efforts to rid the area of geese in time for the festivities. On Wednesday, there were no signs of the pesky geese, just lots of children and families having a great time.
Dancing and fireworks
The Gazebo becomes party central before the fireworks at Laguna Joaquin, offering music and dancing for all ages to enjoy, thanks to the Optimist Club. Then everyone settles back to enjoy the spectacle of the RMA fireworks show. This year's finale, below, produced a cascade of colors and a chorus of approval from the audience.
Here's the finals for the RM Fun Run sponsored by Murieta Health Club. There were 150 participants, biggest ever!
Top 2 Male
- Greg Pruden: 17:39
- Luke Rayfield: 18:00
Top 2 Female
- Susan Hopkay: 17:41
- Kathleen Jones: 19:20
Susan was second finisher. Greg said, "I thought she was gonna take me." She was only 2 seconds behind him.
Also, a special thanks to Pastor Ron Mitchell, who emceed the event for me!
Thank you Rancho Murieta! I love the Fourth here every year but I confess I forget how spectacular and heartwarming it really is. The parade was fabulous, patriotic fun and the fireworks are seriously world class! We had family visiting this year and they want to come back every year for the Fourth. Thank you volunteers, RMA and all the great people who worked hard to make this the best kind of memory.