When the Fourth of July parade rolls down the street at 9:30 from Woodworth and Contra Costa Blvd., it will feature two floats from the Grand Marshall this year – the Friends of Rodgers Ranch. Each float will hold three or four ‘friends,’ and you’ll recognize them because they’ll be wearing attire that was last seen in the 1800s.
“The theme of the parade is ‘An Old Fashioned Fourth of July,” said Denise Koroslev, president of the Friends of Rodgers Ranch. “We’ll have a hay bale in the back of our truck, and someone will be churning ice cream while someone else holds an older American Flag.” Other features are still being worked on, she said.
While this is not the Friends’ first time in the parade (they have won a prize in previous parades), it is the first time they’ve been selected to be Grand Marshall, “and we are honored,” Koroslev said.
FORR was formed 21 years ago to raise money for the restoration of the Rodgers Ranch site, itself built in 1867 and considered the city’s oldest surviving structure. The group organizes heritage programs for kids, demonstrating what life was like on a California farm in the 1800s.
Owned by the Recreation and Park District, Rodgers Ranch is a work in progress. The farmhouse has been restored, and work has begun on the reconstruction of the wheat barn. The city, scout troops and citizens have all stepped forward to help improve the site, Koroslev said.
Spinning, quilting and gardening classes are planned for the near future.
The Pleasant Hill Fourth of July activities begin at 8 a.m. with the annual Firecracker 5K Fun Run. The race begins at the Clock Tower on Crescent Drive.
The parade will begin at 9:30 at the corner of Woodsworth and Contra Costa Blvd. It will snake through downtown and along Boyd Rd. Included in the parade will the Concord Blue Devils, the 191st Army Band of the Wild West, the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, and a Chinese martial arts group, the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy.
After the parade, the city is hosting a gathering in Pleasant Hill Park featuring kid games, train rides, a clown and inflatables. Food will be provided by Back Forty Texas BBQ, and music will feature Jinx Jones and Lumberyard. There will also be a watermelon eating contest.
In the evening, plan to gather at College Park High School for more holiday fare offered by Slow Hand BBQ, and music by the always-terrific Cover2Cover. The fireworks will begin around 9:20 p.m.