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Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 5:07 pm | Overcast 60º


Solvang Parade Marks Day-Long Independence Day Celebration

Approximately 70 entries display red, white and blue for patriotic procession through town


Red, white and blue were on display in the Danish-themed city of Solvang on Wednesday morning for the annual Independence Day Parade that drew thousands of spectators to the sidewalks.

Approximately 70 entries traveled along Mission Drive to Fourth Place to Copenhagen Drive and back to the starting point at Mission Santa Ines for the parade with the theme of Our Exceptional Country.

“We had great participants. We had a great crowd and we had great weather,” said Steve Palmer, who served as co-chairman with Bruce McGowan. 

“Everything went off without a hitch,” Palmer added.

Vintage Fords with colorful decorations, dogs with patriotic garb, and motorcycle riders in colorful clothing thrilled the crowds. 

“What a country we have and how exceptional and lucky we are to be here,” said Allan Jones, who served as an announcer along the route along with Shaun Cassidy.

This year’s parade put Jim and Phyllis Axtell, who celebrated 75 years of marriage in May, in the spotlight as the grand marshals. 

He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II and went on to work for Lockheed Martin Skunk Works while she is a retired technical writer and educator who was principal at Ballard School.

Also in the parade was a prototype lunar rover developed by Rutledge "Putty" Mills, an entry that captured the Most Original Award.

Those along the route grabbed up treats handed out by entries — candy from many but small bags of carrots from Veggie Rescue and small American flags from the Solvang Rotary Club.

The Grand Sweepstakes Award went to the Reel Cowboys while the Solvang Rotary Club captured the Best Use of Parade Theme honor.  

Solvang Rotary Club organized the valley Fourth of July parade tradition along with a barbecue that followed. 

A plethora of parade awards were handed out for variety of categories,  including Best Viking Ship to the Vikings of Solvang and Best Candy Thrower to Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson.

Other awards handed out during the parade included: 

» Best Use of Parade Theme - Rotary Club of Solvang

» Most Patriotic – Daughters of the American Revolution

» Most Amusing – Herbie the Love Bug         

» Most Unique - Mecha Pirates Team of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School

» Most Creative – Pedego Electric Bikes

» Best Band –  Charros Unidos of Central Coast

» Best Singing Group – Soul Cats

» Best Singing – Single –  Libby Padfield National Anthem

» Best Family Group – Willow Creek Ranch Friends & Family

» Best Church Group – Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church

» Best Senior Group – Solvang Senior Center

» Best Animal Group – Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society

» Best Wagon Group – Santa Maria Elks Officers Wagon and Outriders

» Best Wagon – Single – San Lorenzo Seminary

» Best Automobile Group – 3 Patriotic Corvettes

» Best Automobile – Single – 1936 Pontiac Cabriolet SYV Plastic Surgery Dr. Baeke

» Best Automobile – Antique  -  1936 Ford Deluxe Roadster Ron & Cindy Long

» Best Automobile Antique Group – Santa Maria and SYV Model A Clubs

» Best Fire Engine –Solvang Station 30 New Ladder Truck

» Best Equestrian Group – Shooting Stars

» Best Equestrian – Single – Tequileros Seniors

» Best Color Guard –  American Legion Post #160

» Best Street Sweeper – Broom Bear

» Road Apple Crew – Lucky Clover 4-H Team One

» Best Sport Group –  Boys Water Polo Team of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School

» Best Military Group –  Flat Fender Friends

» Best Walking Group – Friends of the Library

» Best Dancing Group –  Garcia Dance Studio

» Most Energetic – Figueroa Mountain Brewing

» Best Group for a Cause – Veggie Rescue

» Best School Group –  Varsity and JV Football Teams of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School

» Best Youth Group -  Lucky Clover 4-H

» Best Dog – Great Pyrenees on float of Law Office of Mark Massara

The day-long celebration continued into the night as the Santa Ynez Valley Rotary Club organized the 24th annual Solvang Independence Day Festival & Fireworks Show at Mission Santa Ines.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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