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A great day for a party

Looking very much like a movie set of a small town on the Fourth of July, Grass Valley attracted thousands of locals and out-of-towners to the Independence Day parade on Wednesday morning.

“You can’t beat Grass Valley for a parade,” said Courtney Pulley of Newcastle. Pulley said that she and her husband skipped early morning parades closer to home to bring their two young daughters to what she described as an “old-fashioned town.”

Waving flags and beating drums, more than 80 parade groups marched, danced and cartwheeled through crowded downtown streets.



With shade at a premium in the late-morning heat, parade goers staked out their territory with lawn chairs early. By 10:30 a.m., the crowds were five deep along the parade route on East Main and Mill streets.

Boy Scouts hawked water and sodas while crowd pleasers such as the Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band tooted “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”




Jim Kerr from KNCO was the announcer the parade. Next to him at the judge’s table, three citizens, given the task of choosing categories such as “best decorated float” and “best marching band,” made notes.

Before the parade, Judge Judy Hess of Citizens Bank said that choosing the winners among this year’s entrants would be difficult. She was looking for floats that expressed “the best about today and our fabulous town,” she said.

Later in the day, revelers headed to the Nevada County Fairgrounds for corn on the cob, corn dogs and picnics while they waited for the fireworks show to begin. The evening gave people an opportunity to enjoy scenes of dancers kicking up their heels and children jumping in bounce houses as the smell of grilling meat and the sounds of country, rock ‘n’ roll and blues filled the air.

Shortly after the parade, local fire companies gathered to coordinate their resources for the night ahead.

“Our efforts will be focused on people abiding by the (fireworks) rules,” said Chief Tom Browning, adding that the biggest fire threats happen when people use safe and sane fireworks outside of designated areas or misuse them in such a way that they explode.

Early Wednesday morning, an Alta Sierra resident had rocked his neighbors with a loud boom after setting off an M1000, fire officials said.

Officials held the multiagency fire meeting to talk about the best way to patrol Grass Valley and Nevada City and surrounding areas while maintaining resources in case of a larger fire in the county.

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To contact Staff Writer Jill Bauerle, e-mail jillb@theunion.com or call 477-4219.

Parade winners

Judges Judy Hess, Doug Becker and Patti Ingram named the best entrants in the Fourth of July parade among more than 80 groups in eight categories. Judges also selected winners for the best holiday window decorations among Grass Valley businesses.

Equestrain award – Nevada County Horseman

Sweepstakes – Ophir Priosn Band

Jr. Sweepstakes – Penn Valley 4H

Mayor’s Award – Nevada County Police Explorers

Individual Award – Lori Hodges

Best Decorated Float Award – Idaho Maryland Mine

Best Marching Band – Nevada Union Joint High School

Organization Award – California International Llama Assoc.

Windows

Grand Winner – Fabrics on Mill Street

Large Window Display – La Te Da

Small Window Display – Aniuka’s


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