July 12, 2012

Fourth of July celebration held at park

Story and photos by Natalie Lakosil
Staff Writer

The rain didn’t stop a group of children at Veterans’ Memorial Park July 4th from having a good time. A variety of jumping castles, some with water, were available for youths to play on during the holiday celebration.

Despite the heavy rains, 4th of July enthusiasts came out to Veterans’ Memorial Park to celebrate.

At times the sky was dark but when rains let up, participants were able to enjoy a variety of band performances, history booths, military displays, jumping castles and more on Wednesday.

“I think the displays are just fascinating,” said Harry Gabberet, after viewing a military air vehicle transport. “I just think so much of this country and our Army.”

The day began with a pet and people parade, activities at the park and ended with a spectacular firework display. Thousands of fireworks lite the night sky for spectators.

“I came out today to the park because I left a lot of friends behind in Vietnam, and a lot of people died just so we can sit out here and enjoy it,” said veteran Michael Kilpatrick.

Last year’s fireworks display was canceled due to extreme fire danger.

Nathan Mcafee, 10, and Caden Burkholder, 3, get a brief history lesson from Dan and Gary Hotchkiss while at the Veterans Memorial Park on July 4th. The Hotchkiss brothers own the “Hands on History Company,” which teaches youth about history. The company had a display at the park for the fourth of July and gave information on U.S. American history, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Indian Wars.

From left, Olivia and Ava Lamb, 10 months, show their 4th of July pride while decked out in red, white and blue at Veterans’ Memorial Park on the holiday. This was the Lamb family’s first year at the Sierra Vista event.

Jocelyne Areval and Russ Robertson view Bill Taylor’s 1944 World War II Jeep during the fourth of July celebration at Veterans Memorial Park. Taylor who is driving the jeep, puts the vehicle and other WWII memorabilia on display every year for the holiday. The jeep is named after his late wife Anne.

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