4th of July Independence Day Parade Award Winners |
The Independence Civic Club has announced the winning entries for the 2022 Independence Day 4th of July Parade. The parade is the culmination of the long-running celebration in the county seat and, as usual, drew a large crowds of spectators who lined US 395 to applaud the parade entrances and detonate water cannons and toss water balloons at the entrances. Informal speculation has resulted in a consensus that this year’s crowds matched or exceeded pre-pandemic celebrants.
The judging criteria for winning the parade awards remains a deep and dark secret, like many things in Independence. This year, the theme for the day was Cruisin’ for Independence. Winners won bragging rights and a plaque containing a Match-Book small car from the 1950s cruiser era.
Parade Grand Marshalls Bob and Virginia Stockman rode the parade route in style in Bob’s restored 1916 Dodge Roaster.
The judge’s award (again, the identities of the judges remain shrouded in mystery), went to the Friends of the Eastern California Museum, whose entry featured a large ATV decorated with a cutout of a vintage car from the 1950s and the announcement that the non-profit group was actually Rock ‘n’ Roll throughout history. Board members rode the parade route with hula hoops, a pair rode bikes built for two, and there was the obligatory “chick” wearing a poodle skirt.
The winner of the competition was the Manzanar National Historic Site, whose float featured ‘American Soldiers Cruising for Independence,’ saluting the men of the internment camp who volunteered to fight for the states United in World War II and joined the famous 442 Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, two of the most decorated units of the war. The float featured photos of the veterans and a replica of the site’s iconic white “Soul Consoling Tower”.
Since the event is a family affair, it was fitting that two family entries won prizes. The Whitlock family won Best of Theme and the Pischel family won Star Spangled Youth, thanks to a great team of kids and parents acting like kids blasting water cannons and balloons from the bed of the family truck .
Above the fray was the winner of the best equestrian award, the mounted body of the De La Cour Ranch, with rancher Julie Fought in the center. The group was decked out in matching purple outfits, as the ranch is famous for its many lavender products.
The most patriotic award went to Campin’ Crew Cruising for Independence, which featured an ATV almost covered in American flags, banners, streamers and ribbons.
Rounding out the winners, an honorable mention was awarded to Freddie Stanleta who, for reasons that remain a mystery, drove from Alabama to Independence to celebrate Independence Day. That’s a long way to go for an honorable mention. However, he got a free barbecue dinner, so that’s something.
If there had been a prize for the largest fleet/entourage, the winner would easily have been the dozen or so “floats” that arrived looking exactly like fire engines and fire engines from various firefighting teams. fires. Decorations of astonishing precision. Really. Looked like the real thing.