Let freedom ring: Grass Valley to host Fourth of July festivities, fireworks
Special to Prospector
Celebrate this Fourth of July with not one, but two days of festivities in downtown Grass Valley. The Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce (GVC) has teamed up with the Grass Valley Downtown Association and the City of Grass Valley to put together activities intended to bring people together in the spirit of celebration this Independence Day. The 2021 Fourth of July theme is “A Salute to Our Nevada County Heroes.” Grass Valley Chamber Executive Director Robin Davies said the organizations are thrilled to pull out the stops after such a long hiatus.
“Everyone is excited — very excited — about Independence Day – the Fourth of July! It feels right,” said Davies. “We are liberated! We are out! We are filled with joy!”
As is tradition, 2021 is Grass Valley’s turn to lead (since 1902 the two cities have alternated hosting the parade, rather than compete with one another – even years in Nevada City and odd years in Grass Valley), so Davies and others met with city officials to discuss what they might be able to present.
“This spring, not knowing where we would go with COVID after the June 15 reopening, we met with city officials who said they would like to continue with the tradition put in place last year for the sake of public safety,” Davies said.
During the pandemic last year, the chambers of commerce and city of Grass Valley, in collaboration with Nevada City, held a limited acknowledgment of the day with an all-vehicle parade, and hosted a firework display at the Dorsey Marketplace site, made possible through private donations.
In fulfilling that wish, the all-vehicle parade will take place beginning at 9 a.m. on the corner of East Main Street and Dorsey Drive and will move into town, turning left on Mill Street and then continuing the traditional route to the fairgrounds.
The pyrotechnics are set to go off at dusk. Launching from the Dorsey Marketplace site near Highway 49 and Dorsey Drive, the fireworks will be visible from many areas around the city. The same company that produced the show from the fairgrounds, Pyro Spectaculars, will put on the display. Local business owners once again stepped up to provide the funding so the community could enjoy the spectacle at no cost.
The trio of organizations will also host festivities on Saturday, July 3.
“Why are we doing this?” Davies answered, “It’s Independence Day and we are liberated! That’s what it’s all about. We can mix and mingle with confidence. We welcome everyone to join us in downtown Grass Valley. I think it’s going to be a beautiful, family day.”
She added those who are not vaccinated but want to join in the festivities should wear a mask, as should those still not yet comfortable in a large group.
Saturday’s activities begin with a pancake breakfast sponsored by Twin Cities Church. “They will also provide a children’s carnival, and music for entertainment,” Davies said. “And then we will transition into what I call the ‘Big Kids Event’ from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We’ll have alcoholic beverage sales. We’ll have music with Rewind Press Play performing on Main Street and the Holbrooke Hotel is providing music on that end of W. Main Street.”
Face painters, magicians, clowns, and several food vendors will be on hand. Davies said because Mill Street is now a pedestrian walkway, the city is allowing people to wander the street while enjoying adult beverages, purchased at the event.
The July 3 festivities will replace the traditional activities previously held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
“This is a reimagined, smaller version, but just as happy, “Davies explained. When they were holding the traditional event at the fairgrounds, they had to be able to cover expenses so were obligated to sell (admission) tickets. “My dream was to be able to garner enough sponsorship to open up the fairgrounds to everyone in the community, to enjoy the fireworks, and everything that goes along with the Independence Day Celebration.” Then, along came COVID and the groups got creative, now making the fireworks and activities available at no charge to the public.
Davies added, “We have really gained an appreciation for what independence means. We, by nature, gather in communities. We need that social interaction. It’s spiritually refreshing. We need that, and now we have that back. Independence Day could not come at a better time.”
Volunteer opportunities are available. To offer your support at the event, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 530-273-4667 or call 211.
Moving forward, the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce will continue the work of supporting their membership, as well as the greater good of the community. Davies said the pandemic erased all boundaries.W
“We now open our doors and open our arms to anyone in the area who needs assistance in any way, whether they are a member or not a member,” said Davies. The Chamber of Commerce is now working to support projects that benefit smart growth or fill a need — from housing to ADA compliance to making certain the arts are incorporated in the community.
“I am so excited for what is happening in our community. We go to bat for the greater good,” said Davies. “What COVID taught us is when the going gets tough, the tough come together.”
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@ gmail.com
FIREWORKS SHOW SPONSORS
Hills Flat Lumber Co.
Cranmer Engineering Inc.
A&A Air Conditioning
Peters’ Drilling & Pump Service
Economy Pest Control
Mike Bratton State Farm Insurance
New York Life – Kyle Smith Agent
Nevada County Association of Realtors
Source: City of Grass Valley
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