Hundreds of spectators dressed in their best red, white and blue flooded San Ysidro Road to enjoy Montecito’s 16th annual Village Fourth on Monday.

The festivities kicked off at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast hosted at the Montecito Fire Protection District’s headquarters above East Valley Road. Children climbed in and out of a fire engine while grinning parents stood with camera phones at the ready.

“It’s great to see your kid excited about something as simple as a fire truck,” said Jeremy Harper, who attended with his 4-year-old son, Theo. “You kind of experience that joy vicariously through your children.”

The line for pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage snaked in and out of the station. More than 2,000 pancakes were served with proceeds going to the Montecito Firefighters Benevolent Fund that primarily supports the families of local firefighters who are injured or killed, said Montecito fire Capt. Travis Ederer.

“Everybody loves a firefighter,” said Clare Miner-McMahon, the mother-in-law of a Montecito paramedic firefighter. “They’re kind of heroes for the kids to look up to.”

Around 11 a.m. the crowd started filing down San Ysidro Road to take their places along Upper Manning Park and Lower Manning Park and the Montecito Union School campus. The jamming of the Untouchables jazz band aboard an old-fashioned fire truck signaled the start of the 30-minute parade.

The parade was led by a convoy of convertibles, roadsters and even a 1911 Ford Model T recognizing its 100th birthday. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley and 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal waved from an open-top Jeep Wrangler.

A group of Laguna Blanca Lower School students twirled American flags and sang “Yankee Doodle” while riding on a trailer draped in red, white and blue. Children scampered to pick up candy thrown from those riding in wagons and on bikes and scooters.

Parade marshal Dana Newquist, dressed in his signature Uncle Sam suit, ended the formation by driving his fire truck down into Lower Manning Park.

Parade attendees descended on the park grounds for hot dogs and hamburgers, face painting, snow cones and bounce houses.

Fourth-grader Tommy Brittingham snagged the Village Fourth Cup for Crane Country Day School by taking first in both the sack race and pie-eating contest.

Actor Billy Baldwin was enjoying some face painting with his daughter. This is his third year attending the Village Fourth and he plans to return.

“I want my kids to understand the significance of what we are celebrating today,” Baldwin told Noozhawk. “It’s more than just a barbecue. The greatest is creating a sense of community for the families and the kids.”

As usual Diane Pannkuk, executive chairwoman of the Village Fourth, could only stop to chat with neighbors for a minute before racing off to keep children from running in front of parade cars to grab candy and making sure enough condiments were set out.

Newquist bought a new Uncle Sam suit online this year after the one he had worn for 15 Village Fourths turned to rags. But the new suit already has a huge rip in it from when he bent over Monday. Retirement from being the parade marshal seems uncertain as long as he has a suit, he said.

“Our future is our youth,” Newquist said. “(The Village Fourth) encompasses everybody. That’s what’s exciting to see.”

After leading the parade for 16 years Newquist has seen a complete turnaround with a completely new, young group of families coming out. The multigenerational aspect and importance of recognizing America’s independence keeps him involved.

“In 15 years they’ll probably be throwing me out and keeping the suit,” he joked.


Noozhawk is using Storify, a new social-media blogging platform, to curate a timeline of your Fourth of July posts from Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and a handful of other Web sites. To join the conversation and help tell the story, use the #J4nooz hashtag on Twitter. Scroll down this page to read more.

Noozhawk photographers Garrett Geyer and Nick St.Oegger will be putting together a slideshow and we would like to include your pictures, too. Email photos to

Courthouse Sunken Garden Patriotic Concert

The Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Garden, 1100 Anacapa St., will host a patriotic concert from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with a lineup of local talent. Notable vocalists such as the Santa Ynez Valley Choral Society, Deborah Bertling, Andy LoRusso, Gary Smith, Megan Wilson and pianist Bryan Andrew Tari will take attendees down memory lane with some of America’s favorite traditional tunes.

Noozhawk will there with a lemonade stand, passing out free lemonade as refreshments.

Goleta Fireworks Festival

The family-friendly and alcohol-free Goleta Fireworks Festival takes place at Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Road. Beginning at 4 p.m., kids can enjoy inflatable jumpers, face painting and more. A fireworks show begins at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 3 to 12. All children’s games are free with the price of admission.

All proceeds will benefit the charitable works of the Rotary Club of Goleta and Goleta Noontime Rotary (including Goleta Teen of the Year).

Volunteers are still needed for the event. Students can earn community service hours. There are two shifts: 3:30 to 6:45 p.m. and 6:30 to 10 p.m. There will be breaks for the fireworks show, and volunteers can see the fireworks for free. During the shifts there will be food, water and restroom breaks. To sign up, contact Connie Burns at or call 805.967.6166.

Canary Hotel Celebration

The Canary Hotel, 31 W. Carrillo St., is hosting a barbecue on its star-spangled rooftop, The Perch, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. There will be a spectacular view of Santa Barbara’s fireworks, all-American food, including burgers and hot dogs, homemade potato salad, s’mores and beer. Dancing will also be part of the festivities, to the tunes of DJ Sparx and trumpeter Rico Delargo. The fireworks will begin at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Call 877.548.3237 or click here to purchase tickets online.

Santa Barbara-Sparkle July 4 Fireworks

The city of Santa Barbara and Sparkle will co-host a fireworks display beginning at 9 p.m. Fireworks produced by Pyro Spectaculars will launch from West Beach and last about 20 minutes. West Beach is open for free public viewing. There will be food and beverage vendors along Cabrillo Boulevard beginning at 11 a.m.

Live music will be featured beginning at 7 p.m. The entertainment for the free public event includes a 50-piece combo band from the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest.

Noozhawk intern Daniel Langhorne can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Decked out in a new Uncle Sam suit, Village Fourth parade marshal Dana Newquist put Montecito's Independence Day festivities into drive.

Decked out in a new Uncle Sam suit, Village Fourth parade marshal Dana Newquist put Montecito’s Independence Day festivities into drive. (Daniel Langhorne / Noozhawk photo)