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Will this be Atwater’s biggest ever July 4th celebration?


Predictions are being made.

Some say the upcoming Atwater July 4th celebration will be the biggest ever.

This would mean about 20,000 people in attendance.

The timing would be right, as people have been pent up for a year, and the chains which bind them are now broken.

Atwater’s July 4th has always been popular. It’s a meet-and-greet event where people who go to see their friends who they have not seen for the whole year.

This year’s event will have everything that has become traditional, starting with the morning Run for Independence sponsored by Merced Running Club and Buhach Colony High School Cross County Team. The 2-mile and 5-mile race will start at 7:30 a.m. at Grove Avenue and 2nd Street.

There will be the Annual Hometown Parade at 9 a.m. The parade will proceed south on Broadway in Atwater and turn up 3rd Street to Ralston Park where the parade stand will be located.

All the vendors will be located at Ralston Park and there were 40 signed up and more coming in every day.

The Atwater High School Band will be strutting its stuff, and according to July 4th Director Jim Price, a Special Military Band has been invited. Count on the fire department and vintage cars.

Local queens will be on floats in their finery.

No July 4th would be right without the Rotary BBQ ribs which will be served at the corner of Grove and 3rd Street in front of the Atwater Women’s Club House.

As the late afternoon moves in, the event will move to Castle Airport where businesses like Blaker Brewing “At The Tarmac” will have a live band and VIP Passes which include free parking and a first beer for $25. For every VIP ticket sold, Blaker Brewing will donate $5 to help with the cost of putting on the Fireworks Display.

Price said this year’s celebration will cost from $40,000 to $50,000 and part of the money earned this year will pay for the fireworks next year.

He said the July 4th Committee is in a real financial crunch this year because of COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that the price on almost everything has gone up. Any donations would be appreciated.

Price gave special thanks to the Sheriff’s Department which has offered to cover the cost of overtime necessary to make the event secure for families.

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