Burgers were being flipped, ice was being shaved and watermelon was being sliced … as hundreds of people joined in to celebrate an early Independence Day on Sunday, June 30.
The pavilion at Hogan-Ennis Park in Escalon was the site for the gathering, and events were put on for the community by the Escalon Covenant Church. Along with a low-cost dinner, there was live music, some fun contests, a bounce house and inflatable obstacle course for kids, face painting and more.
The evening was rounded out by a display featuring the ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks.
Organizers said they had an increase in pre-sale tickets this year and also saw many people coming in the day of the event, serving well over 400 dinners. The suggested donation of $3 per person, with a maximum cost of $10 per family, seemed to be just the ticket. The menu included grilled burgers and hot dogs with all the fixin’s, chips, watermelon, chili beans, beverages and more. Attendees could use the picnic tables under the covered pavilion or bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. The nearby playground at the park was getting plenty of use, with volleyball nets also set up on site for those that wanted to play.
The turnout was great, noted organizers, who said they used both social media and traditional media to get the word out about the event. The Escalon Covenant Church has hosted the Fourth of July celebration for several years and provide it as a way for the community to come together to share the holiday. The Safe and Sane fireworks are the only kind that are legal to use in the city and the display on Sunday evening typically wraps up the Independence Day party.
The weather cooperated, with bright sunshine but also a bit of a breeze, making for a pleasant late afternoon-early evening gathering for the community, with the high temperature for the day peaking at 90 degrees.
A trio of musicians provided the musical backdrop for diners and the face painting booth saw a brisk business, as did the inflatables for kids.