Pacific Palisades Celebrates the Fourth of July

By Sue Pascoe
Editor

The weather cooperated beautifully for the full-day Fourth of July celebration in Pacific Palisades.

Before the race at 8:15 a.m., the sun had already come out, chasing away the cooler marine layer. After actress Kelley Jakle’s lovely rendition of the National Anthem, a record number of runners went along the scenic race course through the Huntington Palisades and, for 10K runners, through Will Rogers State Historic Park. Tonny Okello captured his fourth consecutive 10K race, and Erika Aklufi her second, albeit 11 years apart. Shane Bissell and Regina Lopez won the 5K.

At 9:15 a.m., after Gemma and Grace Holscher sang the National Anthem, the clown stepped aside and the Kids Fun Run began.

The Victor McLaglen Motorcycle team delighted paradegoers. Photo: Luis Velasquez

The Victor McLaglen Motorcycle team delighted paradegoers.
Photo: Luis Velasquez

After the race, the action moved to the Methodist Church courtyard, where VIPs were introduced and honored. The Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA) thanked American Legion Post 283 for its generous donation of $35,000.

Post 283 Commander Jere Romano accepted a thank you plaque from PAPA.

Post 283 Commander Jere Romano accepted a thank you plaque from PAPA.

Providing food and drinks at the luncheon were Aldersgate Retreat Center, Café Vida, Casa Nostra, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Chipotle, CVS, Festa Insurance, Fiesta Feast, Il Piccolo Ritrovo, Ivy Greene, Juice Crafters, K Bakery, Kay N’ Daves, Laura’s Brownies, Le Pain Quotidien, Palisades Garden Café, Pearl Dragon, Pinocchio in Cucina, Puzzle Zoo, Ralphs, Robeks, Ronny’s Market, Sam’s by the Beach, Subway, Taco Bell, Taj Palace, Tivoli Café, Trader Joe’s, Victor Benes and Vons.

The parade, under the leadership of PAPA President Daphne Gronich, had surprises this year, including the Victor McLaglen motorcycle stunt team and a first-ever float decorated by Alphabet Street residents. The skydivers landed on Sunset between Carey and Monument for another first, because of the construction at Swarthmore and Sunset.

Even babies loved the parade. Photo: Luis Velasquez

Even babies loved the parade.
Photo: Luis Velasquez

The Palisades High School football team once again loaned their strength as banner carriers for the parade.

Afterwards, the action shifted to the Palisades High School baseball field, which was another venue change this year. The food trucks supplied food to thousands and the Chabad kept young children entertained. Concertgoers had a wide choice of music from blues to country to classic rock, thanks to Keith Turner, who organized the evening.

Promptly at 9 p.m., all eyes turned to the sky as the fireworks show produced by Pyro Spectaculars by Souza filled the night with magical colors and dizzying effects.

Be sure to watch the videos from the big day as well. 

Victor McLaglen Motor Corps performed

Victor McLaglen Motor Corps performed

Rancho La Laguna displayed patriotism.

Rancho La Laguna displayed patriotism.

“LONGcoln” added to the fun.

“LONGcoln” added to the fun.

Patriotic Pups marched.

Patriotic Pups marched.

The Army Band played.

The Army Band played.

Kids on Bikes energized the route.

Kids on Bikes energized the route.

Mary Tortomasi made a perfect landing.

Mary Tortomasi made a perfect landing.

Food trucks were again a popular draw.

Food trucks were again a popular draw.

The Terraplanes performed their brand of the blues for the crowd.

The Terraplanes performed their brand of the blues for the crowd.

A spectacular fireworks show ended the evening.

A spectacular fireworks show ended the evening.

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